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Test drive for hydrogen fuel cars

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Members of the public will test drive cars running on hydrogen fuel cell for the first time.

Motorists in Leicester can take a drive in the two-seater cars, manufactured by small British firm Riversimple, from Spring 2012.

The company, based in Ludlow, Shropshire, will release 30 of the cars, which have a top speed of 50mph and a hydrogen fuel mileage of 200 miles in one tank.

The company plans to rent out the cars for around £200 a month in addition to mileage. The hydrogen-fuelled cars can lead to savings for motorists in both fuel costs and car insurance premiums.

The prototype of the car was produced at Silverstone, Northamptonshire. Riversimple will consider building a plant in Leicester - which will manufacture 5,000 cars annually and have a staff of about 250 people - if the trials prove successful.

Under the firm's 12-month pilot project deal with Leicester City Council, cars will be leased out to private customers, businesses, car-share schemes and local government officials in the city.

Hugo Spowers, the founder of Riversimple, said: "Contrary to what we usually hear, sustainable, near pollution-free transport is possible, here and now, using existing technology."

© Press Association 2010