back to article Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

A UK startup is banking on a hydrogen-powered automotive future with its "Rasa" - a "revolutionary" vehicle whose production prototype hit the streets earlier this week. Featuring a carbon-fibre monocoque frame, four electric motors powered by an 8.5 kW hydrogen fuel cell and regenerative braking, the Rasa (as in "tabula …

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Sounds great !

Where do I put the shopping kids dogs ?

I could imagine this making more progress had it been a standard size car that would be slightly more multi purpose.

its a pity but Either way Great progress :)

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Re: Sounds great !

I think it needs a good re-packaging, tuck everything away nicely to create room for a small boot at the back, and at the same time redesign the rear end to make it rather less eye-searingly ugly.

So, a good first step, certainly. If they can produce one with room for three bags of shopping, and some means of fuelling up (perhaps a solar/wind powered electrolysis plant at home?), it would make a good second car for our use.

GJC

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Re: Sounds great !

I don't think that it did sound great. Why can't they make promotional videos without having some noise as backing ? Just show the car - don't hurt our ears with rubbish!

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Re: Sounds great !

Once upon a time that was a standard size for a car.

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Re: Sounds great !

and at the same time redesign the rear end to make it rather less eye-searingly ugly.

The original design inspiration had a different design at the back. You remember, the three wheeler that Goldmember used to escape from Austin Powers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds great !

re. shopping kids dogs - you got it all wrong, this is when a technology is waaaay matured. Now it's for those i-trend-setters with excess cash but short of ideas how to spend it. And look, you can link to facebook!

p.s. all that said, it's good people are trying this and that, sooner or later one technology takes root...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds great !

it's good people are trying this and that, sooner or later one technology takes root

Not if it's looking this fugly. I assume the design will have been accompanied by statements like "a fusion of future design and aerodynamics", but fugly is far more efficient in conveying how it looks.

The very first thing you must consider when you attempt a change is that you make it incremental. Massive change, also known as a revolution, is usually accompanied by a lot of blood, and is typically executed by people who lack any green credentials.

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Re: Sounds great !

Yup, one fugly motherhubbard

I don't see it panning out for the boyos behind this:

1) no hydrogen infrastructure

2) there are much bigger players already in this field, Mercedes, at least one of the big Japanese automakers

3) hydrogen production only scales if it is done by cracking hydrocarbons using large amounts of energy

You can forget all your yoghurt weaving notions of doing it with renewables and electrolysis of water. It's not just about liberating the hydrogen, takes a shitload of energy to compress it to the point where it has reasonable energy density.

Nice idea but best left to the big boys.

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Re: Sounds great !

http://www.autozine.org/Archive/Saab/classic/92.html

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This post has been deleted by its author

Ugly, no.

This is just attempt to do a "retro car". Like VW's new beetle, Fiat's new 600, ...

This is just the Brits' new Reliant Robin.

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Re: Sounds great !

1) no hydrogen infrastructure

2) there are much bigger players already in this field, Mercedes, at least one of the big Japanese automakers

3) hydrogen production only scales if it is done by cracking hydrocarbons using large amounts of energy

1 and 3 also apply to 2, surely? So that leaves your main argument as them having to give it up because bigger companies are already doing it?

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Re: Sounds great !

Not necessarily.

If 1) were solved then 2) would be less of a problem, 3) was more me hinting at the un-greeness of these apparently eco-friendly ideas.

Unless, what you actually meant to say was '2 applies to 1 and 3, surely?' In which case guilty as charged but it doesn't mean that there is no point in me listing each separately because each is it's own challenge (and 3 provides me with a jumping off point to have a go at the yoghurt weavers)

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Re: Sounds great !

The thing about point (2) is that the likes of Mercedes have the financial clout to be able to fix point (1) if they need to, but no doubt they will do so in a unique way that means smaller companies cannot share...

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Facepalm

Re: Sounds great !

Once upon a time that was a standard size for a car.

I can't readily find the car's dimensions on their site, but once upon the time you refer to, cars that size had four seats while some even managed six (Fiat 600 Multipla), not two.

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Re: Sounds great !

How soluble is it in natural gas?

I presume that turning it into clathrates would render it inoperable?

Good storage stats for that though, I imagine. What it need is a frame made of 3 inch tubing and flat running boards. Add a seat and a steering device and you have a London utility vehicle. Putting pedals on it will allow you to illegally get away with using it on a pavement. Or at least the cycle lanes.

Can someone help me get out of here? my whole day is setting.

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Re: Sounds great !

"redesign the rear end to make it rather less eye-searingly ugly."

I was thinking that too. Then I remembered the horrible boxy cars we had 30 years ago and we thought they looked "cool" then. Maybe in 20 years this car will be seen as perfectly normal. There's no accounting for taste :-)

It's also rather reminiscent of the "future cars" from old SciFi, especially from the 50's and 60's, but also see the cars as driven by Col. Straker in UFO

Then again, they thought women on moon-base would be wearing silver miniskirts and purple wigs and men in submarines would wear string vests :-)

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Re: Sounds great !

shopping kids dogs ?

Where were going, we wont need shopping kids dogs!

*ZOOOOM*

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Re: Sounds great !

Where do I put the shopping kids dogs ?

Or a Pink Panther?

Plenty of room in this

http://www.carbodydesign.com/2011/09/panthermobile-goes-to-auction/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r8h-I_GPPA

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Re: Ugly, no.

No, more like the Bond Bug. Nearly bought one of those, 'til I sobered up!

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Re: Ugly, no.

This is just the Brits' new Reliant Robin.

Funny you should say that. That is exactly the first thing that I came to mind.

Strange, it looks nothing like it but my brain insisted "That's a bloody Reliant Robin!".

Except its truly disgusting looking. At least Robin had some charm (or amusement factor) and you could fit some luggage/cargo in it.

Performance is on par with Robin as well. Ok Robin didn't quite make 3 digit mpg I don't think.

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Re: Ugly, no.

four wheels, so a Kitten, not a Robin

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Re: Sounds great !

Original post downvoted because literally millions of small two-seaters have already been sold to happy customers all over the world. Not everyone wants a "standard size car".

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Re: Sounds great !

Maybe on your side of the pond!

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This concept is described as <shudder> "mobility as a service".

Which is where we're headed anyway, with autonomous cars. Even if private ownership of an autonomous car will be possible, the rewards for people who pimp out their cars in their downtime (e.g 10:00-16:00 weekdays when they are at work, and 19:00-06:00 when they are at home) will blur the boundaries further.

However, for MrsJP, whose sight isn't good enough to drive, the idea of mobility as a service isn't as cringeworthy as the (presumably fully able) author suggests.

Where's the "bring it on" icon ?

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Re: This concept is described as <shudder> "mobility as a service".

>Which is where we're headed anyway, with autonomous cars.

I'd wager that XaaS (where x='just about anything') is where we're ultimately heading. Stability of fortunes depends on predictable flows of revenue, so there's an incentive (structure looming) for manufacturers to create objects with a reliably-knowable, but limited, lifetime and--instead of selling the object--renting the services provided by that object.

Of possible interest, if only to illustrate the seed-crystal of the relevant mindset:

@eff.org 'Federal Circuit: Patent Owners Can Prevent You from Owning Anything'

The move toward requiring manufacturers to shoulder some of the costs of recycling their wares inclines in the same general direction: if manufacturers build in the Nexus-6 quality, and never actually relinquish title to the object (instead charging for the services the object provides), they end up already owning the necessary resources that go into later versions of what they produce. There's even an incentive for them to build in recyclability, to streamline the whole process of converting their old kit into new kit. The game then becomes a game like Risk, where the territory is the entire relevant resource space.

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Re: This concept is described as <shudder> "mobility as a service".

>Even if private ownership of an autonomous car will be possible, the rewards for people who pimp out their cars in their downtime

This will be marginal if everyone needs their own car to get to work, as everyone would have a car to pimp out - massive oversupply and little demand. The days of half the population staying at home to keep the household going are over, courtesy of deregulated mortgage markets. I suspect the largest impact would be on public transport, with demand for buses dropping to zilch due to some autonomous car/Uber combination. That's assuming you can easily remove all the soft furnishings and so on to prevent them being sloshed with beer, ripped off or otherwise rendered unpleasant by "the neerdowells who don't have a job."

It would probably kill off the courier market. Amazon's dream come true as you can send your car to the warehouse to pick the dongle up.

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I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

He's an ugly little spud, isn't he.

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Happy

Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Designed by engineers, would be my guess.

GJC

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

There's something about that dashboard that reminds me of my classic mini.

Just saying.. externally though it's hideous.

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Happy

Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

It looks a bit futury- in a '70s way.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

"Designed by engineers, would be my guess."

Not a chance, they would have come up with something largely unremarkable, probably. To do properly ugly, you need a proper designer...

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Why does every mad concept car have to have gull-wing doors?

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Why does every mad concept car have to have gull-wing doors?

To keep you awake by letting the rain water dribble down the back of your neck when the door doesn't close properly.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Looks to me like the offspring of a Mini Marcos and a Mk 1 Honda Insight.

Certainly 'interesting' looking

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TRT
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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Oh, I don't know. It has a certain panache about it.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

I think someone in the design department saw too many 1950s Detroit documentaries.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Love the Bungle-fur inside the SHADO car!

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Re: Gull-wing doors

I think that gull-wing doors give easier access for a small opening in the body. Just a guess, though.

GJC

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

I'm certain the butt ugliness will help sales.

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Flame

Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Designed by designed by some whalesong and jostick group after a particularly bad nightmare, a cheese supper and violent overdosing on something nasty you mean.

An engineer might have made it a bit ugly, but he'd have made the shape practical.

---> icon - burn it with fire before all the hydrogen evaporates.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

>> Love the Bungle-fur inside the SHADO car!

You Sir earned my utmost respect and a mod point just for finding a credible way to mention both Rainbow and UFO in a single 7 word post.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

"Designed by engineers, would be my guess."

There's a garage near us is currently restoring a real air-cooled 911 Turbo. Now that's designed by engineers, and in its day it could practically cause spontaneous orgasms in both sexes. It still looks pretty good.

This thing has been designed by aerodynamicists, which is a whole other ball game, if you see what I mean.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Looks like there was a Citroen in the woodpile...

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Re: Gull-wing doors

I think that gull-wing doors give easier access for a small opening in the body.

As long as you don't need to open them in the garage, or after you've rolled the gadget...

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

What do you do to exit the car, once you've driven it into the garage? Remove the rear window, and crawl out?

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Re: Looks like there was a Citroen in the woodpile

I'd say the offspring of a Citroen and a VW beetle with a touch of Zaka virus thrown in.

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Is this meant to be amphibious?

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

It's clearly got that anything to minimize aerodynamic drag look to it. Then again with less than 12 horsepower from the fuel cell they aren't really able to do the slightly pointed brick that is a minivan and still be able to approach highway speeds. No, I get the feeling that this is the perfect car for commuting the way so many people do, alone with the occasional stop for coffee, milk, bread, etc. along the way. Forget stopping by Ikea for anything as even if it would fit it would likely be too heavy.

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FAIL

Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

"Why does every mad concept car have to have gull-wing doors?"

To insure that none of the occupants escape hydrogen immolation in the case of a roll over, would be my guess. That is, to eliminate the potentially noisiest complainers.

Since the days of the mighty M 300 SL gullwing, they just haven't been able to resist it.

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