The Renault Scenic Vision concept is an electric car with a 40 kWh battery and a 15 kW hydrogen fuel cell range-extender, giving a total driving range of 500 miles.
The idea is that the 40 kWh battery is lighter, smaller and costs less than a larger battery, and that by 2030 there will be a network of hydrogen stations able to fill the hydrogen tank in five minutes or less.
The car can be driven as a conventional electric vehicle, without using the fuel cell, on daily trips. When there is a requirement to travel longer distances, the fuel cell can be used, as it’s quicker to top up the hydrogen tank than to charge the battery. This way, there is no need to charge the battery until the car reaches its destination. When the weather is cold, the hydrogen range-extender also keeps the battery at the right temperate for optimal operation and extra range.
Renault says that the Scenic Vision’s hybrid electric and hydrogen powertrain has all the advantages of electric motors: instant acceleration, less noise and no vibration, and no pollution, because the car discharges nothing but water when you use it.
Its carbon footprint, including the battery, is much smaller, being 75 per cent lower than that of a conventional electric car, in production and in use.
The 40 kWh battery is recyclable and will be made in France by 2024 at the Renault ElectriCity Gigafactory. 70 per cent of its materials are recycled and 95 per cent are recyclable.
The Renault Scenic Vision’s 160 kW electric motor uses no rare-earth elements and the aim is that the hydrogen fuel will be green.
The fuel cell membrane is made of 100 per cent recycled platinum taken from catalytic converters removed from combustion motor cars, while all the copper used in the vehicle’s batteries and electrical cables is recycled.
The Renault Scenic Vision has an all-new platform that is currently in the prototyping phase. The platform is purpose-designed to fit all the components: the electric motor, hydrogen engine, battery, fuel cell and hydrogen tank. The engine is at the rear, so there is enough space for the 2.5 kg hydrogen tank at the front; the fuel cell is under the floor, at the back of the platform, behind the battery.
The exterior design of the Scenic Vision provides a preview of the all-electric C segment model that will be unveiled in 2024.
Renault is aiming for an entirely electric range by 2030.