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Riversimple is the brainchild of Hugo Spowers, a former motorsport engineer and racing driver. Having left the motorsport world due to concerns about its environmental impact, Spowers was inspired in the late 1990s by the work of Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute on lightweight network electric vehicles. He founded Riversimple to pursue a radical new approach to personal mobility.



The Riversimple approach has five key elements:

A lightweight network electric vehicle, constructed from carbon composites and powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Open source design and development. Riversimple will invite the community to help develop its vehicles, by licensing its designs to the independent open source foundation 40 Fires.


A service concept – we will lease cars not sell them. This aligns the interests of the manufacturer with the interests of the consumer and of the environment – everyone wants cars that have a long life span with maximum efficiency and minimum materials usage.

Riversimple_Urban_Car_17_1Distributed manufacturing – The economies of scale of carbon composites frames are very different from those of steel-bodied vehicles. Riversimple vehicles are likely to be produced in small factories producing 5,000-10,000 vehicles per year.This allows for considerable local variation in the car.

Broader ownership – The corporate structure of Riversimple is designed to ensure that all stakeholders in the enterprise have a fair say and share in the benefits of a successful business

The companies  first project, an urban two-seater car, is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with a network hybrid design and made from carbon composites, it has been designed to achieve over 300 mpg (energy equivalent).

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