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What is The 40 Fires Foundation?#

The 40 Fires Foundation is a not-for-profit company registered in England and Wales and incorporated in February 2009. It grew out of Riversimple LLP, a business which since 1999 has been developing a revolutionary type of car designed to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of cars.

40 Fires has applied for registration as a charity with the UK Charity Commission.

The management of 40 Fires is overseen by a Board of Trustees who are elected by the members every two years, in accordance with the articles of association. Each project run by the Foundation is managed by a team within parameters set out by the Board.

What is the purpose of the Foundation? #

The Foundation was formed to serve as a platform to encourage and facilitate the development of energy efficient cars and other products for the benefit of society and the planet.

In particular the Foundation will develop products which reduce and ultimately eliminate the negative environmental and social impacts of transport.

The intention is that the Foundation will serve as an independent legal entity to which companies and individuals can donate resources and be assured that those resources will be used for the public benefit.

What is the inspiration for 40 Fires? #

The founders of 40 Fires were inspired by the open source software movement which took off in the 1990s. Organisations such as Apache and Linux proved that world-beating products can be made available at no or low cost for the benefit of all through harnessing the energy and goodwill of collaborators around the world.

What is the relationship between 40 Fires and Riversimple?#

Other than the fact that it was the founding sponsor of 40 Fires. Riversimple has no special status within the 40Fires community,

A bit of background is helpful. Riversimple was set up to build cars for a cleaner and greener world. It realised that the best way of achieving its aim was to give away its technology, through an independent open source foundation. In the software world, open source products have proved to be more robust, cheaper and more flexible than their proprietary counterparts. What’s more, by harnessing the entrepreneurial energy of businesses around the world, open source tends to speed up development and encourages the adoption of common standards.

So Riversimple established The 40 Fires Foundation and licensed the designs to its revolutionary vehicle to 40 Fires for no charge. These are the starting point for the current development project, FF1.

Except for its role as founding sponsor, (and the fact that staff of Riversimple are currently the main contributors to the Foundation), Riversimple and its staff have no special status

Why was the name “40 Fires” chosen?#

In the bible 40 is used to express a very large number. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, it rained for 40 days and 40 days when God wanted to cleanse the world, Moses was on the mount for 40 days, and so on.

As for Fires, for us it represents renewal (as the bush is renewed after a fire), something that spreads rapidly (which is what happens with ideas), and a source of light.

Together, the words represent many individuals coming together to create something that benefits everyone.

And lastly we like the idea that 40 Fires will fortify. But that wasn’t why we chose the name!

What is your first project?#

We are designing a hydrogen fuel-cell powered car. The structure is super-lightweight, being made from carbon composites, it has ultra-capacitors which are charged by the fuel cell and four electric motors, one in each wheel. We think it will be the most energy-efficient production vehicle in history.

Why hydrogen?#

Copy from Riversimple site

When can I buy a car made by 40 Fires?#

Never! 40 Fires will not make cars – it is a forum where cars (and eventually other products) will be designed and developed. Other organisations will do the manufacturing.

One of those manufacturers will be Riversimple, the founding sponsor of 40 Fires. Riversimple aims to start manufacturing cars based on 40 Fires designs in 2013. Even these cars will not be for sale – Riversimple will retain ownership and will only lease the vehicles to users.

Can anyone manufacture cars designed by 40 Fires? #

Yes, provided they sign up to the license terms and agree to abide by the purpose and principles. This license is currently being drafted and is not yet available. In the meantime manufacturing using 40 Fires data is forbidden except for small quantities for development purposes.

We expect that the license conditions will include a moderate license fee, based on cars produced, designed to cover 40 Fires running costs.

What sort of company is 40 Fires?#

It is a membership-based company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. It is intended to be a not-for-profit charity but the application for charitable status has not yet been processed by the Charity Commission.

Who are the members of 40 Fires#

The members are currently Fiona Clancy, Hugo Spowers, Patrick Andrews and numerous others.

New members are added all the time. In order to become a member you will have to be actively participating to one of the Foundation’s collaborative projects. You must be nominated by an existing member and then put to a vote of the existing membership.

How can I contribute to the Foundation?#

The best way to contribute is get involved with a project, contributing to its development. At this stage this mainly involves participating in discussion groups.

You can also make a donation to help us cover our administrative costs. In the long

How to contact people#

Go to the project website page. If that doesn’t help, then go to the Contacts page.

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« This particular version was published on 17-Apr-2009 20:50 by Roland.