Rasa – New Fuel Cell Car

Rasa Fuel Car 2_     Rasa Fuel Car 3_

Riversimple, a company in mid Wales, has come up with a brand new design for a fuel cell car, that is lighter and more fuel efficient than any such cars to date. The design by  Chris Reitz & his team in Barcelona, who designed the new Fiat 500, has used a fuel cell 1/10th the power of other manufacturers within a car body and drive train weighing just 580Kg! Fuel economy is equivalent to 250mpg of today’s petrol vehicles.

The car uses the latest lightweight materials, and advanced aerodynamics (drag coefficient of 0.224 – lower than any current production car). Super capacitors quickly absorb 50% of breaking energy and releases it again very quickly for assisted acceleration, making the car very energy efficient.

A quick note that fuel cells work by combining hydrogen (stored) and oxygen (within cell) to produce electricity and water. The electricity powers motors at each wheel.

The competition for future transport seems to be between electric and fuel cell vehicles. Disadvantages of ‘electric’ is the limited range and the need to wait for cars to charge at a charging point. The disadvantage of fuel cell technology is the limited number of filling stations offering hydrogen – presently 13, hopefully 65 by 2020, whereas electric charging points number 3700.

A road legal prototype has been produced, with a further batch of 20 due shortly partly funded by the EU. To help carve out a market for fuel cell cars the company founder Hugo Spowers plans to introduce a low cost car loan scheme that is easily affordable for the average person. The car initially would be offered as a ‘local’ vehicle to be used within a 25 mile radius of a hydrogen supply, until the infrastructure further expands. For more info please go to  http://riversimple.com/

Which ever technology becomes dominant we the general public will be benefit from these maturing technologies

Hope you had a good Easter, and hope you have a good month,

All the best,

Mike

Quotations:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
– Douglas Adams

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”
– Sir Winston Churchill

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
– Henry Ford

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

 

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About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
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