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Case study 2: Riversimple – hydrogen car

The following discussion questions are based on the primary reading below:

Discussion questions

  1. Identify the differences in design philosophy between Riversimple’s fuel cell vehicle and the approach taken by conventional manufacturers, such as Mercedes-Benz
  2. Outline the business model adopted by Riversimple.
    What types of innovation are evident in what Riversimple are doing ?
  3. What are likely to be the major barriers to success ?
    How might Riversimple overcome these barriers ?
  4. Arduino has taken a similar ‘open source hardware’ approach to that which Riversimple is pursuing.
    What lessons might Riversimple take from Arduino’s (and others’) experience ?

Primary reading

Finnamore, C (2010), Change driver, Wired UK, October, pp116-123 [2.2mb pdf supplied by Riversimple]
– now finally web-available on too

McDonald, A (2010), The open-source hydrogen car set to change the industry, The Ecologist, Jan 20th

Timmer, J (2010), Drones, Chumbys, and big business: the Open Hardware SummitArs technica, 23rd Sept
“Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.”



Economist (2010), The British car industry:Racing green, The Economist, June 17th

Wikipedia entry on Arduino

New materials

Wilkins, D (2011), One man heads back to the drawing board, The Independent, Feb 23