The petrol car was shaped by and to a certain extent contributed to the shape of the 20th Century. This was a time of rapid and sustained change. Pioneers of the first combustion engine, the first Bentley, the first Mini and the first Ferrari were working against a back drop of horse-power, steam power, the discovery of oil, the industrial revolution
Entering the 21st Century we are part of a very different story. Our backdrop is dominated by computer technology, a battle to save remaining wilderness and to stop climate change, a world in which human aspiration will either be constrained within planetary boundaries or laid to waste. The technology we work with, the dreams we nurture and the challenges we face today are very different to those in which the petrol car was first designed.
Hugo Spowers is the founder of Riversimple. He sits with a cup of coffee and discusses the need for radical new ideas. Not just the ones that are beautifully conjured up, only to disappear back into the ether. Hugo is concerned with the ones you make happen.
It is a hydrogen car that has been shaped by the needs of the 21st Century. It runs on power provided by a hydrogen fuel cell, through four hub motors that are also the brakes. The structure is carbon composite, acceleration is 0 – 55 in 9 seconds, range is 300 miles and energy efficiency is 250 mpg (e).
“We need,” says Hugo “ a radical new approach to personal transport. A step change in design. We need to let go of the car that was designed to house the combustion engine and go beyond. We have designed a hydrogen car that is modern, clean and truly, in the very best sense of the word, radical. Sustainable? Of course. Sustainability is just common sense – good for us, good for business – nothing more, nothing less.”