Robert Goodwill MP met with directors from British car company Riversimple, who visited with their hydrogen zero emission fuel-cell car, the ‘Rasa’.
The meeting, on June 15, was facilitated after Chris Davies, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, invited the car and its designers to Westminster to discuss the future of British design and engineering. They also discussed its longer-term plans to kick-start a new manufacturing business and community-centric hydrogen infrastructure.
Robert Goodwill said: “It was fantastic to meet up with the talented team behind the creation of this hydrogen car, which offers us a sustainable future and complements many of the other transport initiatives we are taking. Riversimple is a highly innovative UK business, an example of British engineering and design at its best. Hydrogen cars solve some of the big challenges with battery electric cars - and I’m looking forward to seeing these Rasas on our streets..”
After the meeting, Riversimple founder Hugo Spowers said: “It was incredibly exciting to take our car to Westminster and to see the positive reactions of MPs, who were overwhelmingly supportive of both our ethos and our radical business approach.
“The UK government has recognised the potential of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and has already implemented forward-thinking projects that are promoting this cleaner alternative. I am grateful to Chris for inviting us to showcase our road-legal engineering prototype, which was designed from the bottom up for this incredible technology.”
The visit took place shortly after the Powys-based carmaker had agreed the first trial of its hydrogen-powered cars in the UK. It is partnering with Monmouthshire County Council, to run a 12-month trial of the ‘Rasa’, which has a range of 300 miles, refills in a few minutes and has no cost premium compared with a conventional car.
In 2017, Riversimple will supply 20 hand-built hydrogen cell cars for three or six-month contracts, to be driven by 60-80 residents in the county.
It marks the start of the company’s ambitious plans to kick-start hydrogen infrastructure in the UK by developing a community of users around a single hydrogen refuelling station. As part of the initiative, a self-service, mobile refuelling point is planned for a council car park at Abergavenny or Monmouth.