Welsh hydrogen vehicle startup Riversimple is aiming to raise £150 million over the next three years, which will fund two plants and also help the company focus on new hydrogen LGVs. In addition, the company also announced that it aims to begin commercial production of its eco coupe, the Rasa, in 2023, and a lightweight commercial van, designed for last-mile delivery, the following year.
The funding round is the result of a new partnership between Riversimple and leading Welsh corporate finance company Gambit Corporate Finance.
It is estimated that each plant would create 180 – 220 skilled jobs making 5,000 vehicles per annum.
Riversimple is initially looking for sites in Mid and South Wales and is in conversation with
both UK and Welsh governments about manufacturing plans.
Until now, the company has largely relied on crowdfunding and grants to see it through the
Research and Development phase so this a notable shift in the company’s evolution.
“Hydrogen’s potential to contribute to a clean energy future is widely
recognised around the world, by governments and the private sector,” said Riversimple CEO, Hugo Spowers. “With the ban on combustion engine vehicles looming, now is the time to focus on clean and efficient alternatives. We’re focused on delivering convenient and commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs), as well as seeing a new era of automotive manufacturing in the heart of Wales.”
“In our view, electricity and hydrogen are complementary energy vectors and the
availability of both Fuel cell electric vehicles and Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will
decarbonise the transport sector much faster.”
Public interest in hydrogen fuel cell cars as an alternative to battery electric cars continues
to grow – over 4,000 people have already expressed an interest in being a future customer
Currently, Rasas are being hand-built for a trial with the general public based in
Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, which will start as soon as Covid restrictions allow. The
trial is being supported by OLEV as part of the HTP programme. Riversimple is also a partner in the Milford Haven:Energy Kingdom demonstration in Pembrokeshire, supported by UKRI.