FT Riversimple Rasa hydrogen car

Riversimple is currently building a low-volume production run of Rasas

Welsh hydrogen vehicle manufacturer Riversimple and DHL Supply Chain have agreed a partnership designed to combine sustainable personal transport with green logistics.

The two companies have signed a memo of Understanding (MoU), with a focus on bringing sustainable zero emission vehicles to the UK market while designing a green supply chain from the outset.

Highlights of the deal include:

  • sustainability initiatives – in particular focusing on inventory logistics, transportation of goods, fulfilment and component lifetime tracking;
  • design and trialling of sustainable zero-emission vehicles;
  • securing the financing required to reach volume production of highly efficient hydrogen vehicles;
  • exploring how the hydrogen economy can help DHL and Riversimple contribute to the Paris agreement climate goals and UN Sustainable Development goals.

Discussions are under way, with DHL assisting Riversimple in preparation for its first full-scale sustainable manufacturing facility in Wales. The company will be producing hydrogen electric vehicles offered to customers on a monthly subscription basis that includes all motoring costs such as fuel, maintenance and insurance.

Mike Bristow, managing director, manufacturing logistics UKI at DHL Supply Chain, said: “It’s exciting to be partnering with a highly innovative company like Riversimple which has sustainability at the heart of its mission. As the world’s leading logistics company, it is our responsibility to guide the industry to a sustainable future, which is why we’ve recently launched “The Sustainability Playbook”, and partnering with Riversimple helps us deliver on our own environmental objectives.”

The Powys-based firm aims to start commercial production of its eco coupe, the Rasa, in 2024, and a light goods vehicle the following year. It is estimated that each plant would create about 220 direct skilled jobs, making 5,000 vehicles a year, as well as indirect jobs in the supply chain. Riversimple recently appointed Gambit Corporate Finance LLP to lead an investment round that aims to raise £180m over the next three years, providing funding for two Wales-based manufacturing plants.

Hugo Spowers, founder and managing director of Riversimple, said: “DHL is committed to making sustainability a core part of its business and is implementing this through one of the largest partnership networks in the world. We’re very pleased to be collaborating with DHL to help us achieve mass production in the UK in the near term, and hopefully partner with us on a global level as we deliver our goal of systematically eliminating the environmental impact of personal transport.”

Currently, Riversimple is building a low volume production run of Rasas for trial with the general public, based in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire. The trial started earlier this year and is being supported by OZEV as part of the HTP programme. Riversimple has also been awarded a grant to trial two cars as part of the Milford Haven Energy Kingdom, an Innovate UK-funded green hydrogen project. An equity crowdfunding campaign is under way on Seedrs which will match fund the grants to complete the build of the 20 cars committed to the trials.