Renault has announced the Scenic Vision, a concept fuel-cell electric vehicle that works to reinforce the OEM’s commitment to sustainable, safe, and inclusive mobility. The concept works similarly to preview a new C-segment family EV that will launch in 2024 and utilize its CMF-EV platform, ahead of the full FCEV production version launching between 2030 and 2032.
In helping Renault achieve its key sustainability targets, 70% of the materials used in the concept are recycled, while 95% are recyclable. Likewise, in leveraging electric and hydrogen power, the brand has said that the concept has a carbon footprint that is 75% lower than a conventional EV. This power comes from a combined propulsion system leveraging both elements that consists of a new electric motor, a small battery, and a fuel cell that runs on green hydrogen fed from a 2.5kg hydrogen tank.
The rear-mounted 160 kW (215 hp) motor leveraged in this system is derived directly from the motor featured in the Megane E-Tech and will be developed at its plant in Cléon, France. Likewise, the system’s recyclable 40 kWh battery will be produced at the ElectriCity Gigafactory in France before 2024 and work alongside a 15 kW fuel cell. This cell will help recharge the vehicle, extending its range during long journeys. Renault estimates that when the infrastructure for FCEV charging is fully operational, the Scenic Vision could support a maximum range of 800 kilometers (497 miles) as well as the ability to fully charge it in less than five minutes.
While operating as an FCEV, the concept can be solely driven as a conventional EV, with the fuel cell’s supply disabled by the driver for short daily trips. At the same time, its hydrogen functionality can be enabled for long-distance trips. Here, a route planner calculates how much power the fuel cell needs to supply in accordance with the user’s desired route. This ultimately works to maximize the battery’s power level, prioritizing the charging of the hydrogen tank to greatly reduce charging times. In cold weather, the tank can also regulate the temperature of the battery to facilitate optimal operations while further maximizing the vehicle range. In the future, the concept’s battery will also support V2G technology – allowing its energy to be fed back into the power network.
Inside, the Scenic Vision takes a unique approach to its infotainment setup – adopting a steering yoke with a display at the center with small screens placed around it. Where the dashboard meets the windshield, a widescreen displays a video feed of the car’s immediate surroundings sent from its front cameras. In front of the driver, a series of small, customizable, widget displays can be configured to show key vehicle information, functions, or menus of the user’s choice. Ten of these displays can be found throughout the interior and can transfer their content to the larger screen at the dashboard. These displays, and the cockpit’s other technologies, are interchangeable – allowing them to be upgraded regularly – extending the vehicle’s lifecycle as a result.
The displays make up one part of a fully customizable interior, with an external facial recognition device used to unlock the car and adapt configure the interior to the detected user’s preferences. Upon detection, the cockpit and seats move backward to help the driver and passengers access the vehicle easily before readjusting to a more suitable position. This is carried out automatically in a process that sees the Scenic Vision adapt to the morphology of each user. Another camera inside the vehicle provides further convenience – detecting where occupants are looking and angling the screens accordingly to their position.