Riversimple founder to accompany PM in China

Riversimple founder to accompany PM in China

Hugo Spowers, founder of British hydrogen car brand, will accompany Theresa May on her first trip to China since becoming Prime Minister.

During the trip, the PM and her delegation of business leaders led by the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, are expected to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hubei province.

The news comes as the Welsh company’s award-winning hydrogen car - believed to be the greenest car on the road - enters its beta-test phase.

Riversimple founder Hugo Spowers said: “This trade delegation to China is a demonstration of commitment to cleaner mobility and we are proud to be presenting the case for hydrogen to play a major part in this.”

There is a growing demand for ‘clean tech’ solutions in an industry poised for massive growth, as petrol and diesel cars decrease in popularity. 

As well as personal transport implementation, hydrogen fuel cells are being used to power trains and buses, through to logistics solutions and military vehicles.  

In a recent survey of automotive executives carried out by KPMG, it found that 78% believed that Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) can solve the problem of recharging and infrastructure that Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) face today.

Refuelling an FCV can be done in three minutes at a refuelling station, which makes even the fastest possible BEV charging time of 25 to 35 minutes seem unreasonable.

Riversimple’s beta-trial is due to kick off in early summer and will run for 12 months around Abergavenny in Wales, complete with its own hydrogen refuelling point.

In April 2017, the Welsh company exceeded its first crowdfunding target and raised over £1millon.

Since then, it has bolstered its talented team with five new recruits and refined the design of its award-winning Rasa hydrogen car. 

A second crowdfunding round is set to launch next week (February 5) and is earmarked for building the first 10 cars for the beta-trial, which attracted over 900 applications from prospective test drivers.

Riversimple is crowdfunding to match a €2million EU grant to build its fuel cell cars, which will be test-driven by residents in Monmouthshire, Wales.

This follows a £2million grant awarded by the Welsh government in 2015.