Renault Scenic Vision concept with battery & fuel cell
Renault has presented the Scenic Vision, a compact class show car that has both a large battery and fuel cell on board. The car can run on electricity from the socket and recharge from hydrogen while driving. The French company describes the concept as a “battery fuel cell drive”.
The unique feature is that while other fuel cell vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai or the Hyundai Nexo only have a very small battery, the Renault Scenic Vision carries a considerable 40 kilowatt-hours storage capacity. This makes the battery much larger than also that of the Mercedes GLC F-Cell (13.8 kWh), which, like the Renault concept, can also be charged externally.
Also, for the Toyota Mirai or Hyundai Nexo, pure battery-electric propulsion without the fuel cell can only take place a few hundred metres – if at all. With its 13.8 kWh battery, the Mercedes GLC F-Cell could at least cover a few kilometres purely battery-electrically and be charged at a charging station or wall box.
Renault, however, has now presented a slightly different concept. The drive in this vehicle combines an externally excited synchronous motor with 160 kW in the rear and the battery above with 40 kWh. The large battery also takes on most driving, rendering the fuel cell into something like a hydrogen-powered range extender. A large one, though, since the fuel cell adds 16 kW and an H2 tank that can hold 2.5 kilos of hydrogen.
Renault says the Scenic Vision operates like a typical electric car for everyday journeys and does not use the onboard fuel cell. For longer trips, a route planner is supposed to calculate the share of power that the fuel cell has to take over to generate electricity so that the user does not have to charge the battery on his route if possible, according to Renault. However, Renault does not give exact ranges or charging times.
The study also has the technical prerequisite for bi-directional charging and can feed electricity back into the grid using vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G).
Another unique feature: the concept car consists of over 70 per cent recycled materials by weight. Similarly, according to the French company, 95 per cent of the materials that make up the vehicle, including the battery, can be recycled as part of the industrial materials cycle.
Renault describes the concept as a preview of a future all-electric family vehicle. The French manufacturer is rumoured to be reviving its Scenic compact van with an electric powertrain.
With reporting by Daniel Bönnighausen and Nora Manthey.