Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will the Open Source Hydrogen Car show the way to the future of mobility?

It may not be the most beautiful new car and it probably is not the answer for a family's mobility problems, but it combines clearly a number of interesting concepts and ideas. It's called the Riversimple Urban Car.
First it's a hydrogen car. It only needs a 6 kilowatt fuel cell to reach 80 km/h and drive for more than 300 kms without being refueled. It only weighs 350 kg and has the dimensions of a Smart.
Also interesting is the fact that it is partially funded by Sebastian Piech and other members of the Porsche family. The development has been done together with Oxford University and Cranfield University. Riversimple plans to build 10 prototypes soon. They also do think long term. Cars are to be leased for 20 years and then taken back and recycled.
What also is exciting to know is that they will publish all designs and ideas on a wiki and therefore build a true Open Source car. So if you want to build your own you will be able to profit from their experience and learnings.
As said in the beginning, it's not the solution for everything but this car clearly is able to outperform all/most cars known in existence in terms of fuel economy while still being practical.

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