ONE of the world's leading technology companies has stepped in to boost plans to build hydrogen vehicles in Wales for global sale.
Siemens UK has signed a memorandum of understanding with Riversimple of Llandrindod Wells to make the fuel-cell powered Rasa hydrogen car and a local delivery van.
The car is already being prepared for trials with 12 drivers living in Abergavenny and the Welsh company installed a hydrogen filling station for them to use free of charge.
Riversimple is in the process of raising £150 million over the next three years to go into mass production with the car appearing in two years and the van about 12 months later.
In a statement, both companies said it was their intention to progress Riversimple's sustainability initiatives and ensure local component sourcing, local job creation and training as well as putting the operation on a firm financial footing.
Production will eventually utilise two sites and create up to 220 jobs in each, probably in the Mid-Wales area and aiming for 5,000 vehicles annually from each.
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."
Co-director Fiona Spowers said it was a major vote of confidence for Riversimple to have a major international company with such experience as Siemens to join in the development.
She said it is intended to source as many components for the vehicles in Wales and talks are underway to bring the electric motor manufacturers and composite chassis fabricators to Wales and support the venture to cut down on costs and maintain continuity of supply.
Brian Holliday,managing director of Siemens Digital Industries GB and Ireland, added: "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 has also announced the appointment of Gambit Corporate Finance LLP and an investment round that aims to raise £150 million over the next three years, to fund two manufacturing plants.
Currently, Riversimple is building a low volume production run of Rasas for a trial with the general public based in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire supported by OZEV as part of the HTP programme and once Coronavirus restrictions are lifted the proving can develop.