Fully Charged recently visited the Riversimple Movement in Llandrindod Wells, Wales to check out the ultra-light, two-seater Rasa.

The Riversimple Rasa has four in-wheel motors, and a tiny hydrogen fuel cell stack, which enables it to maintain a top speed of over 60 mph over long distances.

The most interesting part of the episode itself was the talk about the company's business model during the test drive.

Riversimple intends to offer its vehicles under a subscription that covers all repairs, maintenance, insurance and hydrogen expenses.

Moreover Riversimple would like to use the subscription-based model not only for consumers, but also for suppliers - paying for use of the fuel cell stack by counting kWhs.

The benefit of such model would be the necessity to develop the most efficient and reliable, long-lasting components to make car viable for Riversimple and its partners.

Says Fully Charged:

"An extraordinary company, headed by an extraordinary man.  Riversimple (has) a plan, and it completely changes the accepted model of the automotive industry.

Sell lots of cars, make sure it costs a lot to keep them going, make sure people pay for fuel.  No one can buy a Riversimple car, but you could pay to use one, and you'd never pay for fuel or repairs."

Quick specs:

  • total curb weight of just 580 kg (1,279 lbs)
  • up to 300 miles on 1.5kg of hydrogen
  • fuel economy equivalent to 250mpg
  • small 8.5kW fuel cell
  • four electric motors for AWD
  • top speed of 60 mph (nearly 100 km/h)

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