Welsh Company Introduces Tiny, Hydrogen-Powered Car
Major automakers are always "on the verge" of creating a mainstream, hydrogen-powered car. A small independent company from Whales, called Riversimple, may be able to show them a thing or two. The startup recently introduced a tiny, hydrogen-powered car called the Rasa. And guess what? It isn't half bad.
Meet the Rasa
The Rasa is the brainchild of former auto engineer, Hugo Spowers. Toiling in the auto industry helped Spowers realize what a huge impact the internal combustion engine has on the environment. So, he decided to devote his life to creating a sustainable-energy car.
As a result, the Rasa was born. Sure, the it's funny looking, but each of its lines aid in overall vehicle efficiency.
The two-seater is tiny – weighting in at just 580 kgs (about 1278 lbs). The Rasa has a 500-kilometer range and a top speed of 96 km/hour. It takes 3 minutes to refuel and emits only water from the tailpipe.
Each of the Rasa's wheels has a motor inside. Hydrogen and oxygen combine inside the fuel cell, creating electricity to power the motors. "Super capacitor" regenerative braking also helps propel the little car. The capacitors harvest energy from braking and convert it into electricity to help with acceleration.
No, you can't buy one
Don't bother whipping out your check book – you can't buy a Rasa. As part of its sticking-it-to-the-man agenda, Riversimple will only be offering the Rasa under a sale of service contract. Buyers will sign up for the Rasa for 1 to 3 years, similar to the way you would a mobile phone agreement. All expenses will be built into the deal, including insurance.
The contract can be renewed at the end of term for a reduced fee. Riversimple hopes this will prevent consumers from buying a new car every few years. The company wants buyers to keep the Rasa on the road as long as possible.
Like many other hydrogen-powered vehicles, the Rasa faces one giant obstacle: infrastructure. But with an ample number of refueling stations in place, the Rasa may very well take off. That is, as long as consumers don't mind driving a car that looks like a tadpole.
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