Sustainability

Our Purpose

At Riversimple we have a mission:

"To pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport."

Everything we do – the design of the car, the structure of the business, the people we work with – is in pursuit of this goal.  A “Whole System Design” approach ensures that every step we take, every investment we make, gets us closer to our end goal.

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Efficiency

The key factor in creating a sustainable vehicle is creating an efficient vehicle. The Rasa is one of the most efficient vehicles on the planet, at 60mph it uses less than 10kW of power, 13.5bhp or 3 kitchen kettles. Requiring this little power means that the Rasa uses less than a third of the hydrogen used by other fuel cell vehicles to travel the same distance.

Aerodynamics

The Rasa is among the most aerodynamic cars of today; it has a drag coefficient of just 0.248, compared to in comparison a Porsche 911’s drag coefficient of 0.31.

Lightness

The Rasa is also one of the lightest cars on the road, weighing just 655kg, 80kg less than the original Smart car! A lighter car requires far less energy to move and is therefore more efficient. We make our vehicles lighter by using ultra lightweight materials such as carbon fibre.

Regenerative Braking

In most vehicles energy is lost in the braking process when kinetic energy (which takes fuel to create) is turned into heat.  The Rasa is able to recover and store kinetic energy every time it brakes using its electric motors and supercapacitors.

Emissions

Emissions are perhaps the most environmentally damaging aspect of personal transport and are something that we have obsessed over throughout the development of our vehicles. There are two categories: Tailpipe emissions and Non Exhaust Emissions (NEEs).

Tailpipe Emissions

Tailpipe emissions are emitted as a direct result of fuel being burnt or converted within the powertrain of a vehicle. Being a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, there is no burning involved; the Rasa’s only tailpipe emissions are tiny droplets of water.

Non Exhaust Emissions 

NEEs are emitted from component wear on the vehicle. The two most common emissions are tyre and brake particulates, which are harmful to both humans and the environment. A recent study from Emission Analytics found that pollution from NEEs can be over 1,000 times worse than combustion engine exhaust particulates. Despite this, there are currently no emissions standards for components such as brakes and tyres. As a sustainable vehicle company we have done everything within our power to reduce NEEs. We are building the lightest possible vehicles which means we can use slim tyres, reducing our tyre particulate emissions.  We even use our motors to brake, to drastically reduce our brake dust emissions.

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Sustainable Materials

Reducing emissions and increasing efficiency is a great start, but sustainability is far more than that. Our vehicles will be built using increasingly sustainable and sustainably sourced materials.

Recycled materials

We are proud to say that we use a number of recycled materials within the cabin of the Rasa. The upholstery material is crafted using PTFE from recycled bottles. Our door handles are handmade using recycled fire hose by leading sustainable fashion house Elvis and Kresse. Our circular business model will enable us to reuse materials in our vehicles for multiple life cycles.

Critical materials

Unlike batteries we don’t require huge amounts of critical metals such as lithium and cobalt. Our hydrogen fuel cells use a small amount of platinum, no more than can be found in a standard catalytic converter fitted to a combustion engined car. It makes perfect sense to reuse that platinum for future fuel cell production.

Regeneration

All our vehicles are currently built in our research and development facility in Mid Wales. For volume production, we don’t need massive factories to achieve our goals. We are working on building multiple small plants to be located near the markets they serve. This reduces transport costs, overall supply chain emissions and the time required to get into production.

We believe that sustainability needs to be both environmental and societal. We hope to have positive effect on the local community, improving the quality of life and providing opportunities for stable employment by creating around 200 direct jobs and 600 more within the supply chain.

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Circular Business Model

Aimed at eliminating waste, Riversimple follows a circular model whereby vehicles are provided as a service rather than sold as a product. This means that Riversimple is responsible for the life-span of the vehicles so, in contrast to traditional product-sale business models, the vehicles are designed from the very beginning to last as long as possible and be as robust as possible – for Riversimple, spending more on higher quality components in the build saves operating costs over the lifetime of the vehicle.

It also means that we can amortise the higher costs of building a truly efficient car over a long time and make them affordable from the very beginning. Our business model ensures that circularity is at the heart of our operations and at a vehicle’s end-of-life we will recover as many components as possible, keeping vital materials and resources in circulation. As well as being better for the planet, sustainable mobility makes excellent economic sense.

Future Guardian Governance

Riversimple’s corporate structure is being designed so that all our stakeholders – customers, investors, the environment, the community, the staff and our commercial partners – really do have a stake. The board’s duty is to balance and protect the benefits it delivers to  these six critical stakeholder groups. The company is answerable to six Custodians who represent the stakeholders groups and who hold the voting shares.

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