Hugo Spowers ran a business designing and building racing cars until environmental concerns led him away from motorsport. Writing a feasibility study into bringing hydrogen fuel cell cars to market during an MBA at Cranfield led him to conclude that a step change in automotive technology is both essential and possible.

Hugo set up Riversimple to develop Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, electric vehicles without batteries; Riversimple's first road legal car, the Rasa, designed from a clean slate to be as efficient as possible yet affordable and fun to drive, is starting customer trials in the spring. However, the principal barriers are not technical but to do with people, politics and business inertia; through an entirely circular 'usership' model – including the supply chain – and a whole system approach to sustainability – financial, social and environmental – Riversimple is designed to make energy efficiency profitable.

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Thursday 6 February