Fuel cells or batteries - the wrong question for designers of electric vehicles?
The EI East Midlands branch held what proved to be a very inspiring event, with a presentation by Hugo Spowers, partner in Riversimple, on the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles they are developing.
Hugo gave a broad review of Riversimple’s approach to the technology, the design process and their business model. All of these had been reinvented to produce a product and business that was fully matched to the market opportunity and avoided many of the barriers faced by more evolutionary approaches. A key lesson was that the entire product design had to be optimised rather than optimising individual components. This has allowed them to develop a prototype two-seater car capable of 300mpg and 31g/km CO2.
Riversimple intends to lease their cars rather than selling them; which incentivises the company to produce a reliable, repairable and long lived product. They have also reinvented their company and have made their board responsible for protecting and balancing the benefit streams of all of their six stakeholder groups.
An audience of over 35 people joined in an extensive debate rounding off a very interesting evening.