Riversimple hydrogen cars; making zero emissions profitable
The Building Centre,
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Hugo Spowers - Founder and Company Architect of Riversimple
Riversimple is a sustainable car company, developing hydrogen fuel cell cars and an all-inclusive usership model that makes energy efficiency profitable. Riversimple is probably the only car company in the world that hopes never to sell a car, selling mobility as a service rather than a car as a product; Riversimple is designing both the car and the business to maximise efficiency and its life of the car and to recover as much value as possible at the end.
Founded in 2001 as OSCar Automotive, it became Riversimple in 2007. The first fuel cell car to emerge was the LIFECar; developed by a consortium Hugo brought together with Morgan, it caused a sensation at the Geneva Motorshow in 2008. The small Hyrban technology demonstrator followed in 2009. The Rasa prototype, the first car designed for type approval, has been developed over the last 4 years and a pilot trial of 20 pre-production vehicles in Monmouthshire is planned for 2018.
Hugo Spowers is an Oxford University trained engineer and entrepreneur. He founded and ran a business designing and building racing cars and restoring historic racing cars until environmental concerns led him away from motorsport. The focus of an MBA at Cranfield University was a feasibility study into bringing hydrogen fuel cell cars to market and he concluded that a step change in automotive technology is both essential and possible; the principal barriers are not technical but to do with people, politics and business inertia. Hugo is responsible for all the technical aspects of the new car in development and for the architecture of the business itself.