Riversimple's Next Gen Rasa
Leveraging funding from both Wales in the UK and the European Union, the Welsh startup Riversimple Movement Ltd has introduced the prototype of its first commercially-available hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Called the Rasa, the two-seater, was designed by former Alpha Romeo chief designer Chris Reitz in Barcelona.
Powered by an 8.5kW fuel cell stack located behind the passenger cabin, the 589kg (1,247 lbs) car is propelled by in-wheel electric motors. As much as 50% of the car's braking energy can be recaptured by a bank of supercapacitors mounted in under the bonnet (hood), giving the car the petroleum energy equivalent of some 250 miles per gallon. Top speed is 60 mph (96 km/h) and acceleration to 55 mph is a respectable sub 10-seconds. Exhaust emissions, like all fuel cell cars is warm water vapor.
With the equivalent of some $5.4 million in UK and European government backing, the company plans to build 20 prototypes in 2018, which will pay a monthly service fee that includes use of the car, insurance, maintenance and, importantly, hydrogen. This is an approach other OEMs have used when making their fuel cell cars available to the public over the last decade and half.
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