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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hydrogen Car Available to Everyone

Riversimple has designed a hydrogen car, but what is revolutionary is their business plan – open source for local production.

The car manufacturer who presented their car in London on Tuesdsay, will publish their design on the internet, so that the technology can be advanced anywhere on the local level, reports BBC.

Riversimple can drive up to 80km/h and travel 322 kilometers before refuelling, with fuel consumption of around 300 miles per gallon. The car only weighs 350 kilograms.

The cars will be sold via leasing with the included price of fuel and repairs for around 200 pounds per month.

The company hopes that the car will be in production by 2013.

Highly efficient approach to design

With its partnership with the company BOC, Riversimple will place refuelling stations in the city where it will lease its first prototypes.

Riversimple’s solution for extra power is by adding the so called ultra capacitors, which store large amounts of electric energy which can be released almost instantly in order to give power to the rest of the engine.

The car itself is an example of highly efficient automobile design. The can has four motors which are driven by hydrogen cells, whose strength are only six kilowatts, unlike current designs which waste more than 85 kilowatts of energy.

The company claims that it is closer to market than any other competitor, but what really makes them different if their unusual business model.

Open source for local production

Their partnership with BOC will solve the ‘chicken or egg’ question on who will build the infrastructure needed to fill the cars with hydrogren.

Hugo Spowers, a former racing car designer, said that they can place a package of 50 cars and one fuelling station in various cities, so that one by one, they will have an example to build infrastructure for hydrogren fuelling stations, which will continue until a national infrastructure is set in place.

The company will distribute engineer designs in the 40 Fires Foundation, which is a non profit organization which will offer the design as ‘open source’.

The idea is to allow the local production in small factories. Besides that, the designs will be adapted to local markets, and the materials and parts of local production.

Every advance in technology will be sent back to base so that the network of manufacturers cooperate in the development of the product.

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