Nearly 40 people attended the monthly open meeting of Llandrindod Transition on May 28 at Hotel Commodore, to hear an update on the work of Riversimple, Llandrindod's unique hydrogen-fuelled car maker.

Staff Custodian Brian Murray, supported by a very able technician and apprentice, reported that intensive real-life use of the small beta production run of the Riversimple Rasa by members of the public has proved the technology to the point that they intend to move into commercial production in the next three years. 

Fuel cells convert hydrogen gas into electricity to drive the car's four motors with the only exhaust being water and do not use lithium or many of the other rare elements whose extraction creates serious environmental and social consequences. It is hoped that eventually the hydrogen used will mostly be 'green' - produced using renewable electricity so there are no damaging emissions - but the car is so economical that even using so-called 'grey' hydrogen from natural gas means its impact will be far less than a conventional car.

But technology is only part of the story and the speaker went on to explain that the company is governed by a system which recognises that more than just shareholders have a stake. Riversimple’s governance is structured to represent and be as relevant and benefit society as its product and service, so it has a board of six Custodians, each representing a fundamental part of modern life – the Environment, the Customers, the Community, the Staff, the Investors and the Commercial Partners - which have to approve all management board decisions. Mr Murray described himself as having the privilege of being the elected Staff Custodian. It was speculated in the audience that things would be better if all businesses followed a similar model.

Llandrindod Transition is part of a global movement seeking local solutions to the environmental challenges which face us and how we can live more lightly on the planet. As well as hosting several well-known local projects like the Repair Cafe and Incredible Edible Llandrindod, it offers monthly public meetings covering a wide range of topics which are advertised locally.

For details and to sign up to the email information list, visit

The next meeting will be Caroline Gellor speaking about 'Ecology from a Farming Perspective', on Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30pm at Trefonnen School.