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Riversimple, DHL join forces to accelerate hydrogen mobility
© Riversimple

Riversimple, DHL join forces to accelerate hydrogen mobility

Riversimple Movement and DHL Supply Chain have joined forces to bring sustainable zero emission vehicles, specifically those powered by hydrogen, to the UK market while designing a green hydrogen supply chain.

The duo formalised such plans on Friday (July 16) with a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), through which they want to secure the financing required to reach volume production of hydrogen vehicles.

Further to that, the partnership will also focus on sustainability initiatives, designing and trialling zero emission vehicles and exploring how the hydrogen economy can help both parties contribute to the Paris agreement climate goals.

Already smashing the ambitious plans, DHL is currently assisting Riversimple in preparation for its first full-scale sustainable manufacturing facility in Wales, at which the company will produce hydrogen electric vehicles offered to customers on a monthly subscription basis.

Riversimple’s monthly subscription for the vehicles includes all motoring costs such as fuel, maintenance and insurance. The This circular economy business model aligns the profit drivers of the company with positive environmental outcomes such as lower carbon emissions.

Enthused about its new partnership with Riversimple, Mike Bristow, Managing Director, Manufacturing Logistics UKI at DHL Supply Chain, said, “It’s exciting to be partnering with a highly innovative company like Riversimple which has sustainability at the heart of its mission.

“As the world’s leading logistics company, it is our responsibility to guide the industry to a sustainable future, which is why we’ve recently launched ‘The Sustainability Playbook’ and partnering with Riversimple helps us deliver on our own environmental objectives.”

Hugo Spowers, Founder and Managing Director of Riversimple, added, “DHL is committed to making sustainability a core part of its business and is implementing this through one of the largest partnership networks in the world.

“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with DHL to help us achieve mass production in the UK in the near term, and hopefully partner with us on a global level as we deliver our goal of systematically eliminating the environmental impact of personal transport.”

Riversimple is currently building a low volume production run its hydrogen-powered Rasas vehicle for trial with the general public, based in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire. The trial started earlier this year and is being supported by OZEV as part of the HTP programme.

The company has been awarded a grant to trial two cars as part of the Milford Haven Energy Kingdom, an Innovate UK funded green hydrogen project. An equity crowdfunding campaign is underway on Seedrs which will match fund the grants to complete the build of the 20 cars committed to the trials.

Riversimple: Rethinking hydrogen mobility

© Riversimple

For fuel cell technology to work in mobility, Hugo Spowers, founder of sustainable car company Riversimple, believes you need to make a car with a different structural arrangement, with different materials and with a different business model. 

“Fuel cells are totally different to combustion engines; you can’t persuade a fuel cell to behave like a petrol engine. If you’re really going to work with the characteristics of hydrogen, you’ve got to rethink how we build cars,” Spowers said.

And that’s exactly what he set out to do when he founded Riversimple, then OSCar Automotive, in 2001. Spowers has plans to manufacture 10,000 hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) a year, but he has no intention of selling them – more on that later.

“The breakthrough is at the system level, it’s how you put it all together,” Spowers enthused. “That sort of system integration is exactly what motor racing is about – it’s pulling together lots of different technologies that are available elsewhere and putting them together in a different pattern of relationships.”

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