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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. It previews a production model scheduled to launch in Europe in 2024.

The Renault Scénic Vision concept borrows the name of the European-market Scénic compact minivan that first appeared in the 1990s. But instead of the current production model’s internal combustion engine, the concept has an electric motor. 160 kW (214 hp) from the Renault Mégane E-Tech hatchback, another electric version of the popular model first seen in the European market. in conceptual form two years ago.

Renault confirmed that the 40 kWh battery pack is also a manufactured product. It will be produced at the carmaker’s ElectriCity plant in Northern France starting in 2024. Renault keeps the package size down to 40 kwh as the Scénic Vision also has a 16 kW fuel cell. Renault claims once the network of hydrogen stations becomes available, one will be able to drive 497 miles on a tank. The car company considers this a way to make long trips more convenient.

Renault Scénic Vision concept

Renault Scénic Vision concept

The Scénic Vision can be used as a regular EV for daily trips, relying on battery power alone, the automaker claims. On long journeys, rapid hydrogen refueling (about five minutes, Renault calculates) has a clear advantage over even the most powerful DC fast chargers. Assuming Renault’s promised network of hydrogen stations comes to fruition, ie.

In cold weather, fuel cells can also be used to keep the battery pack at an optimal temperature, helping to maximize range, Renault said. And it helps keep the battery pack smaller and lighter, which Renault has also considered as battery swap to help achieve.

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

Renault Scénic Vision concept

Renault Scénic Vision concept

In the concept, the hydrogen tank is located at the front, the battery pack and fuel cell are under the floor, and the engine is at the rear. Renault says the concept has an “entirely new platform”, but says the production version will use CMF-EV . Platformas shared with Nissan and Infiniti and used in Ariya is coming. The brands aim to have 15 models based on the platform by 2030, and Renault is expected to be all-electric by that time.

In Europe, Renault’s electric vehicle strategy will focus on affordability, as well as classic style. Among the automaker’s planned EVs is the modern rendition of the Renault 5, a modest frugal car that has become a hot legend among car enthusiasts.

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