While many manufacturers are looking at developing the next generation of electric cars, one British firm has other ideas.
Riversimple, the UK Based Hydrogen Fuel Cell Eco Car Company, has developed a hydrogen-powered car that it anticipates will be a good alternative to electric vehicles (EVs).
The car, currently called the Rasa, has a 300-mile range and runs on 1.5 kilograms of hydrogen.
Riversimple is currently producing a handful of cars with aspirations of having mass production by 2020.
Riversimple has developed a hydrogen-powered two-seater car, which has an innovative design with retro characteristics, that may be able to offer as alternative to EVs.
The vehicle's engineering is different to other cars on the market; it has a motor on each wheel and is powered by reverse electrolysis. Hydrogen and oxygen are put together to create electricity and water, as is a by-product that drips out of the exhaust.
Hugo Spowers, founder of Riversimple, told CNBC in an interview on Friday;
"All the major auto manufacturers are building hydrogen cars but they are trying to retrofit the technology into the sort of cars they make. And they're all, effectively, built the same way as cars have been for the last hundred years. The petrol engine taken out and a fuel cell put in place. We've started from a clean sheet of paper."
Riversimple's car is rivalling other hydrogen models like the Toyota Mirai, but also electric vehicles from Tesla and other well-known automakers.
It is hoping that its business model might help it differentiate Instead will allow people to pay monthly to drive the car with the fee including a refill of hydrogen as well as insurance.
Spowers said to CNBC;
"It's more like a mobile phone. It's a single direct debit that covers all the running costs. It includes insurance and it even includes fuel But it completely changes the sort of car that we build, because it's an asset on our balance sheet, and the longer we can keep it generating revenue the better, the more efficient it is the better and the lower maintenances the better.
"Energy efficiency is probably the single metric we have really got to chase in the future. Batteries are very heavy and the efficiency of a car depends on the weight of the car hugely. So, batteries are really good for short-range applications. But at about 100, or 120 miles, we believe we can make a more efficient hydrogen car than a battery car. And if you're talking a 300-mile range, 400 miles it's chalk and cheese, it's so much more efficient."
Spowers said the company will open source its technology designs so that other carmakers could copy them. The Riversimple founder says this is not a problem because the market is open enough.
Spowers told CNBC;
"What we want is those standards to become ubiquitous. We are using different fuel cells ... We want people to copy us because effectively, we are building different cars to the industry and we want to build volumes in (the) supply chain to reduce our costs."
All Vehicle Contracts Ltd Published: May 11 2018