Ambitious plans from hydrogen vehicle firm Riversimple to scale-up to mass production have been boosted with a collaboration agreement with tech giant Siemens.
Powys-based Riversimple is currently seeking to raise £150m, led by Gambit Corporate Finance, to move to manufacturing 25,000 green vehicles a year based on its hydrogen fuel cell powered Rasa car,which it begun developing 20 years ago.
It has now entered into a memorandum of understanding with Siemens UK with a focus on regional skills development, sustainability and preparation for mass production.
It is aiming for a two-seater Rasa car factory becoming operational in 2023, with a light commercial van production line coming on stream in 2024.
It then aims to have a larger family car in production in 2026 and in the following year a string of five factories producing collectively 25,000 vehicles per annum, as well as having a research and development facility.
Subject to funding its initial two factories, each employing up to 220, will be based in Wales. Riversimple has been asked if Siemens could become an investor.
By 2032 the firm projects having a fleet of 180,000 vehicles leased to customers, which will only emit water.
German-owned Siemens has a long history of supporting technical innovation and has a depth of expertise in planning and simulation software for manufacturing operations, as well as factory simulation software for the planned new production facilities.
Hugo Spowers, managing director of Riversimple, said: “Siemens is involved in green energy generation and has a history of enabling technology companies like ours.
“They share our passion for sustainability, hydrogen and the circular economy and have deep expertise in technology software and plant simulation as well as financing the tech sector. We are very much looking forward to building this relationship.”
Brian Holliday , managing director Siemens digital industries GB & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be working with Riversimple, a UK company, which has designed and built a revolutionary electric car that runs on hydrogen.
“We support firms that produce boundary-breaking products in terms of design, manufacturing and performance. It is particularly satisfying when we get to support a programme with sustainability at its heart that can make a difference to the health of our planet.”
Riversimple is currently building a low volume production run of Rasas for a trial with the general public based in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire.