The future of hydrogen SUVs and engines was presented: the Renault Scenic Vision concept

Renault’s Scenic Vision concept features both the carmaker’s future compact electric SUV and a future hybrid powertrain that combines hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries.

The Scenic concept, presented in Paris, also showcases Renault’s sustainability efforts, with a range of environmentally friendly features that include 70% recycled materials.

A production version of Scenic is expected to be released by 2024, following the debut this year of the Megane E-Tech Electric compact car.

“We anticipate what Scenic will be like,” Renault CEO Luca de Meo said on Thursday at the official unveiling of the concept here. “It’s the future of Renault series cars.”

The Scenic concept has a length of 4490 mm, a wheelbase of 2835 mm and runs on 21-inch wheels. It is powered by the 160-kilowatt Renault electric motor that drives the rear wheels; Charging comes from a 40 kilowatt-hour battery and a 16 kW stack of fuel cells. A small hydrogen tank is circulating in the front compartment.

The range would be 800 km, Renault said, and the hydrogen supply would take about five minutes.

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Renault said the hybrid engine gives it a 75% lower carbon footprint than a battery-powered electric vehicle because it has a smaller battery and could use so-called green hydrogen, which is extracted with renewable energy, such as solar and wind.

The battery is planned to be twice as light as one for a comparable all-electric vehicle, Renault said.

Mixed hydrogen prospects

Hydrogen fuel cell powertrains remain the starting point for road transport. Renault and Stellantis are starting to produce hybrid commercial vehicles with hydrogen batteries, while Toyota and Hyundai have launched fuel cell cars on the roads, but in very limited numbers.

Most fuel cell players predict that heavy vehicles and commercial vans will be the first mass applications of technology, the newly developed fueling infrastructure in Europe.

However, pick-ups and SUVs could also benefit from the technology, as adding enough battery power to allow towing, off-road use, or fully charged long journeys could be costly and cumbersome. unacceptable.

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“There are several advantages to this platform and this new type of propulsion system. You can drive long distances just by stopping for a short time to fill the hydrogen tank (approximately every three hours) and offer an attractive alternative to electric motors – even if they are still in the exploration phase, ”said Renault.

Renault said the car’s exterior design “reflects the shape and style of a new family model that will hit the market in 2024”. The short fusion and long wheelbase maximize the interior space, while the silhouette “expresses strength and movement”.

Scenic Vision’s interior design optimizes entry and exit, with flap doors and seats that move automatically backwards before front-seat passengers get into the car.

Passengers have a total of 10 configurable widget screens in the cockpit that are dedicated to different functions. The cameras monitor the view of passengers and move the screens accordingly to improve ergonomics.

Other interior features include a yoke-style steering wheel and “cocoon” airbags in the seats that reduce the weight of the dashboard.

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