The fuel-cell range extender enables smaller, lighter batteries

Renault envisioned one of its flagship models as an EV with a hydrogen fuel-cell range extender. This is a preview of a production model scheduled for launch in Europe in 2024.

The Renault Scenic Vision concept bears the name of the first European-market sneak compact minivan that appeared in the 1990s. But instead of the current production model’s internal-combustion engine, the concept includes a 160-kilowatt (214-hp) electric motor from the Renault Megan E-Tech hatchback, first seen in the form of another electric version concept of a popular Euro-market model. Two years ago.

The 40-kwh battery pack is also a manufacturing item, Renault claims. It will be manufactured in 2024 at the automaker’s electricity factory in northern France. Renault has reduced the size of the pack to 40 kilowatts because Scenic Vision has a 15-kilowatt fuel cell. Once a network of hydrogen stations is built, it will be possible to run 497 miles in a single tank, Renault claims. Automakers see this as a way to make long journeys more convenient.

Renault Scenic Vision Concept

Renault Scenic Vision Concept

Automaker claims that Scenic Vision can be used as a conventional EV for everyday travel, relying solely on battery power. On long trips, the fast hydrogen refueling process (about five minutes, according to Renault) has a clear advantage over even the most powerful DC fast chargers. Assuming that Renault’s promised network of hydrogen stations has been implemented, that is.

In cold weather, fuel cells can be used to keep the battery pack at optimal temperature, which helps maximize the range available, Renault said. And while it helps keep battery packs smaller and lighter, Renault has considered replacing batteries to help it achieve something.

Renault also emphasizes sustainability. Scenic Vision is 95% recyclable, and includes a battery pack, according to Automaker. Overall, Renault claims that the concept’s carbon footprint is 75% lower than a conventional car.

Renault Scenic Vision Concept

Renault Scenic Vision Concept

In the concept, the hydrogen tank is located at the front, the battery pack and fuel cell are at the bottom of the floor and the motor is at the rear. Renault says the concept has an “all-new platform”, but says the production version will use the CMF-EV platform, as shared with Nissan and Infinity and used in the upcoming Aria. The brand aims to have 15 models based on this platform by 2030 and Renault expects to be all-electric by that time.

In Europe, Renault’s EV strategy will focus on affordable as well as retro styling. The automaker’s planned EVs include a modern interpretation of the Renault 5, a humble economy car that has become a hot hatch legend among car enthusiasts.

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