A sunny day in London yesterday saw the launch of the Riversimple, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car. Although the two-seater is currently a "technology demonstrator vehicle" (translation: almost pie in the sky but not quite), its creators are hoping that the Riversimple will be put into production by 2013. The 772-pound vehicle has a top speed of 50mph and can go 240 miles on a single tank.
As our own Charlie White has pointed out, however, hydrogen cars are not really the future of green motoring. For starters, the technology involved is so costly that buying one would be prohibitively expensive — which is why the Riversimple will be available to lease for around $300 a month. Then there's the small matter of building the filling stations all over the country. What is interesting about this car, however, is that the makers are choosing to make it open source, so that anyone will be able to adapt the design to fit in with local requirements.
Four small electric motors are attached to each wheel to generate electricity, as well as doubling up as brakes. Power comes from a six-kilowatt fuel cell, and the only emissions are water and a little heat — perfect for a mid-journey cuppa!