A HYDROGEN car set for a “first-of-its-kind” trial - which will take place in Monmouthshire - is nearing its fundraising target of £1 million.

Residents will be chosen to test drive 20 hand-built cars later this year, a rare move that will allow feedback to directly influence the development of the prototype.

Car manufacturer Riversimple has raised £731,585 of its target for the ‘Rasa’, and has announced a closing date of March 31 for its crowdfunding round.

The firm is aiming to match a €2 million EU grant to hand-build 20 hydrogen fuel cell cars, which will be test driven later this year.

It follows a £2million grant awarded by the Welsh Government in 2015.

The ‘Rasa’, a product of 15 years of research, will emit only water while its used on the road and has a range of 300 miles.

It is also said to refill in a few minutes, with “no cost premium” compared with a conventional car.

A self-service mobile refuelling point will be installed in one of the county council car parks, in Abergavenny or Monmouth.

The council are also recommended to provide secure parking for 20 vehicles at Raglan depot.

Riversimple founder Hugo Spowers said: “Worldwide, developments are happening at breakneck speed from improvement in creating hydrogen from renewables, to big business investment in infrastructure, to government pledges for green transport schemes. I think this has cemented hydrogen as a mainstream, viable option.”

“The Rasa is sporty, incredibly fun to drive, elegantly styled and has turned heads all over the world.”