A UK company has unveiled a hydrogen powered two-seater car with a range of up to 300 miles on 1.5kg of fuel.

Trials of 20 vehicles with prospective customers are proposed for later this year, and the car, called a Rasa, is expected on the market from 2018 through a “sale of service” ownership model.

Riversimple Movement has developed the Rasa supported by a £2m grant from the Welsh government. It will offer the car for a fixed monthly fee and mileage allowance, similar in expenditure to leasing and running a new family-sized hatchback, and the company will cover all repair, maintenance, insurance and fuel expenses.

Customers will never buy the car and experience the burden of depreciation; they will simply exchange or return it at the end of the ownership period.

The Rasa has a total kerb weight of 580kg (nearly half of a small car), it features a carbon composite chassis and only 18 moving parts in the entire powertrain. Riversimple says it has a range of up to 300 miles on 1.5kg of hydrogen, estimated fuel economy equivalent to 250mpg, and a top speed of 60mph, and water is the only output.

Hugo Spowers, founder of Riversimple Movement, said: “The Rasa engineering prototype marks another key milestone in bringing an affordable and highly-efficient hydrogen-powered car to market.

“We started from a clean sheet of paper. The Rasa gives us the opportunity to introduce customers to a more convenient concept of motoring, a lightness of ownership that neither places a burden on the pockets of motorists or the surrounding environment. The car is simple, light and fun in every respect.”