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Renault reveals hydrogen-powered Scenic Vision concept car

Published May 19, 2022

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Paris - Renault recently retired the Scenic nameplate that was attached to a once popular, and once-egg-shaped, compact MPV model, but it could be making a comeback - with a hydrogen twist.

On Thursday the French carmaker revealed a prototype hydrogen fuel cell-powered SUV concept car. Renault said the car, dubbed the 'Scenic Vision', would not be commercially available before 2030-2032, but a fully electric version is set to hit the streets in 2024.

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A fuel cell vehicle has an electric motor just like an electric vehicle, but the motor is powered by electricity produced through hydrogen, enhancing the battery's range.

A 16kW fuel cell will extend the car's range to 800km without recharging, and the battery will be twice as light, resulting in a 75% reduction in carbon footprint compared to a conventional electric model, Renault said.

The hydrogen-powered concept car is built around an all-new platform that is currently in the prototyping phase at Renault Group’s innovation labs.

The architecture is purpose-designed to fit all the components: the electric motor, hydrogen engine, battery, fuel cell and hydrogen tank. The motor 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 Scenic Vision comes as Renault pushes ahead with plans to split its electric vehicle and combustion engine businesses.

A pioneer in electric cars with Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi at the start of the previous decade, Renault has been eclipsed by pure player Tesla and the ambitions of Volkswagen.

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Asian rivals like Toyota and Hyundai already have hydrogen fuel cells cars on the market, while BMW is planning to launch the hydrogen iX5 this year as a small batch series.

“Renault is writing a new chapter in its history with the Scenic Vision, an innovative concept car that brings the brand’s vision for a greener, safer and more inclusive future to life,” Renault said when presenting the new concept car.

“The Scenic Vision embodies the brand’s sustainable development commitments and encapsulates them in a single vehicle.

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“Its intelligent design and manufacture incorporate methods that the Renault Group and its brands will use to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040 and worldwide by 2050. Notably, this includes Renault aiming for an entirely electric range by 2030.”

IOL & Reuters

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