A new lightweight hydrogen-powered car has been unveiled in London which promises up to 385km of travel without refuelling and could be put into production by as soon as 2013.
The two-seater Riversimple Urban Car weighs in at just 350 kilograms and a company spokesperson has said they expect it to achieve an average fuel consumption figure of just 0.78 litres per 100km.
Following the technology demonstration at Somerset House the project leaders hope to raise funds to build 10 production prototypes for a long-term test in UK cities.
These cars would be leased rather than sold, with owners receiving a maintenance, support and fuel package over the course of the trial period to determine its suitability as part of everyday life and commuting.
“This will encourage us to produce cars that are robust and long-lasting, and align our interests with the interests of users and the needs of the planet,” a Riversimple spokesman said.
While the size of the Riversimple Urban Car may deter most Australian buyers, the English have gone quite made when it comes to environmentally-friendly transportation, embracing compact city cars such as the all-electric G-Wiz.
The Riversimple Urban Car is powered by four electric motors attached to each wheel , running off a six kilowatt fuel cell compared to the 100kW used in many hydrogen prototypes.
Unfortunately, as with all hydrogen cars, the Riversimple Urban Car lacks the supporting infrastructure necessary for the technology to be used in the mainstream.
“Now that we have the basic vehicle in place with practical technology the challenge is to begin the development of a fuelling infrastructure to accompany it, to encourage the adoption of the sale of mobility service and encourage broad participation in the open source design to make the already practical technology into a broadly adaptable customer proposition.”