Riversimple Intends to Change More Than Just the Automotive Business

Riversimple already disclosed it would not sell a single car. It would be just another automaker following a business model that gives evident signs of exhaustion if it did that. As much as the combustion engine was doomed for relying on a finite raw material like oil, manufacturing as we know it also depends on multiple limited resources. Riversimple wants to invert that logic and reward performance, not sales. What we did not know is that it plans to do that even with its suppliers.
Riversimple's Circular Economy Principles 6 photos
Photo: Riversimple
Riversimple's Circular Economy PrinciplesRiversimple's Circular Economy PrinciplesRiversimple's Circular Economy PrinciplesRiversimple's Circular Economy PrinciplesRiversimple's Circular Economy Principles
The Riversimple Rasa uses a 10 kW fuel cell made by Hydrogenics and supercapacitors from JSR. Instead of purchasing them, the Welsh company will pay for their use, just like Riversimple customers will pay to use the car. Whoever the supplier is, when these components reach the time to be replaced, Riversimple will return them to their factories for them to be recycled and get new ones, paying to use them just like it did with the previous ones.

That applies to all Riversimple suppliers and even to their suppliers, such as the mining companies that extract platinum for fuel cells. Hugo Spowers, the managing director and founder of Riversimple, told us more about that:

“On the platinum front, we are suggesting that the mining companies should never sell the platinum. As it is a catalyst, it does not get consumed, so they could keep it on their balance sheet and rent it out effectively. If it is recycled by the membrane manufacturer, they never need to see it back. But this allows them gradually, as they get more of their platinum into the market, to decouple their revenue from virgin platinum extraction as their revenue increasingly comes from platinum mined in years gone by. It sounds very grandiose to say so, but the logical conclusion of this would be that mining companies gradually stop mining, for good commercial reasons, which would be a big win all around!”

In other words, even the most essential industries would not need to have their revenues from extracting these raw materials, but rather for the use they are given for as long as that is possible. That changes the entire commercial structure we have in place nowadays, and that makes World Overshoot Day come sooner every single year. There’s a different and more sustainable way to do business, and Riversimple wants others to follow it. Will they?
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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