Renault has made waves in the automotive industry with the introduction of its latest concept car, the Scenic Vision.
Departing from the traditional electric powertrain, Renault’s innovative hatchback showcases a radical hydrogen-electric hybrid system. If brought to market by the end of the decade, this unique powertrain would be the first of its kind, revolutionizing eco-friendly transportation.
The Scenic Vision incorporates both a battery and an electric motor, but it introduces a groundbreaking feature: a hydrogen fuel cell that can charge the battery while the vehicle is in motion. This innovative combination opens up new possibilities for extended range and quicker refueling times. Renault is placing its bet on the expansion of the hydrogen refueling network across Europe by 2030, envisioning a future where their vehicles can travel up to 500 miles before requiring a stop, with a convenient five-minute refill at a hydrogen station.
Renault’s decision to transform the Scenic from a spacious MPV to an SUV reflects the changing demands of consumers, who increasingly seek hatchbacks with elevated ride heights. While the previous iteration of the Scenic was discontinued in 2019 as part of cost-cutting measures, its popularity among second-hand car buyers remained strong. In fact, the Scenic experienced a remarkable 61% increase in average advertised prices from the previous year, as reported by AutoTrader.
Unlike conventional hybrids that incorporate petrol or diesel engines alongside electric powertrains, the Scenic Vision takes a different approach. The concept car features a 15kW hydrogen fuel cell positioned under the floor, along with an onboard hydrogen tank. This setup, coupled with the battery and electric motor, presents a unique combination of power sources that optimizes usability, environmental compatibility, and range.
Renault’s vision for hydrogen-electric systems extends beyond the Scenic Vision concept car. The company believes that vehicles equipped with such systems will offer significant advantages, including a carbon footprint that is 75% lower than that of conventional electric cars. The hybrid powertrain aims to provide the benefits of electric motors, such as instant acceleration, reduced noise, and vibration-free operation. Moreover, the only byproduct of the Scenic Vision’s operation is water, making it a truly emissions-free vehicle.
Renault acknowledges that the hydrogen-electric system showcased in the Scenic Vision is currently in the prototyping phase. However, the company remains committed to the development of alternative powertrains and envisions a broader future beyond 2030. The exploration of this hybrid electric and hydrogen powertrain signifies Renault’s determination to cater to diverse consumer needs and pave the way for sustainable transportation options.