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Renault Scénic Vision hydrogen hybrid concept offers 75% smaller carbon footprint than a conventional BEV

Renault unveiled its new Scénic Vision concept-car at the ChangeNOW summit in Paris. Its hybrid electric and hydrogen powertrain aims to reduce downtime related to energy recharging while reducing the carbon footprint, including the battery. Renault Scénic Vision is zero emission in production and in use with a 75% smaller carbon footprint than a conventional battery electric vehicle.


Renault Scenic Vision’s 160 kW electrically excited synchronous motor derives directly from Renault Megane E-TECH Electric’s motor and is made at the plant in Cléon. It uses no rare-earth elements, which helps to reduce its carbon footprint and create a responsible and sustainable ecosystem. The 40 kWh battery is recyclable and will be made in France by 2024 at the Renault ElectriCity Gigafactory. It is two times lighter, smaller and costs less than a battery for a similar electric vehicle.


The hybrid is equipped with a 16kW fuel cell. The H2-Tech technology is based on the range extender concept, which makes it possible to carry a battery that is twice as light, for the same range, thus contributing to decarbonization beyond the electrification of the vehicle. Although this solution is a vision for a passenger car, Renault Group through Hyvia (joint venture with Plug Power) already offers hydrogen solutions on LCVs.

In 2030 and beyond, once the network of hydrogen stations is large enough, you will be able to drive up to 800 km—or, for example, 750 km from Paris to Marseille—without stopping to charge the 40 kWh battery. You will only have to stop for 5 minutes or less to fill the hydrogen tank.

Renault Scenic Vision has an all-new platform that is purpose-designed to fit all the components: the electric motor, hydrogen engine, battery, fuel cell and hydrogen tank. The engine 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.


Following on from the partnerships already entered into, this vehicle has a carbon footprint that is 75% smaller than that of an electric vehicle such as the Megane E-Tech electric. Its battery is up to 60% less carbon-intensive than an equivalent battery, thanks to the use of short loops and low-carbon sourcing of minerals, and the use of low-carbon energy to assemble and produce the battery.

Onboard technologies offer enhanced safety for drivers and passengers, reducing the number of accidents by up to 70%.

The exterior reveals the shapes and style of a new family model that will be marketed in 2024. Its interior design is a forward-looking study of future Renault interiors.

70% of the materials used in the vehicle are recycled and more than 95% of the vehicle is recyclable, including the battery. The floor of the vehicle was composed by agglomerating plastic scraps from other sources (milk bottles, plastic pipes, etc.). On the whole vehicle, 30% of the plastic is biosourced. The vehicle’s fittings are made of recycled carbon from the aeronautical industry.

Short loops are being deployed on strategic materials such as platinum, copper, aluminum and steel as well as the battery’s minerals. Tires are sourced from a GNSPR member manufacturer, committed to environmental and human rights responsibility. The fuel cell tank is made of carbon fiber from recycled paper waste.



This a hydrogen car concept that makes sense to me. It's a BEV using FC as range extender. You use electricity on your daily drives, but can use hydrogen for travelling.

However I find the 75% carbon reduction figure dubious. It seems to me they are comparing their car with a random one with unfavorable carbon footprint.


This sort of configuration is one I have long advocated, which uses batteries for what they are good for, daily commutes, and fuel cells where they beat carrying a thumping great battery about for longer distance travel.


They say:

'Following on from the partnerships already entered into, this vehicle has a carbon footprint that is 75% smaller than that of an electric vehicle such as the Megane E-Tech electric. '

So their comparison is one where they have access to the whole carbon accounting chain.

It sounds similar to me to the excellent analysis GHG Polestar did for their Polestar 2 against their own ICE equivalent.

These things are always going to be a bit fluffy around the edges, dependent on all sorts of things like where the car is build and the grid there, and a host of other factors.

There is nothing there that makes me think that they are pulling my leg though.


This is using current off the shelf low temperature PEMs.

There are good grounds to hope that SOFC's or high temperature PEMs will enable the use of methanol, ethanol, whatever, making for even more convenient refueling and avoiding high pressure hydrogen in the car.


I'd also note that Renault have considerable experience with this sort of configuration, has for several years they have had a small fleet of Kangoo FC hybrids running around, mainly for La Poste.


they compare the carbon footprint this car with the Megane E-TECH; but they tell us this concept car has a lot of recycled plastic or biosourced plastic, so we don't really know how much of the carbon reduction comes from the build materials and how much from the medium-sized-battery+fc combo.

I find this kind bombastic announcements rather confusing, but I guess it comes with the type of business.

I agree with you about FC range extenders using a better energy carrier than pure H2, like methanol. I think I would even prefer ammonia to pure H2, despite ammonia toxicity. Those 700 bar tanks of H2 make me really uncomfortable.



Its the better energy density and easy shipment of methanol etc which attracts me to that solution.

I have no current links to share, as the relevant safety videos testing hydrogen tanks and their upward venting outside of the cabin, even if the hydrogen catches fire, are no longer up, as it was a live issue around 15 years or so ago, but I was very comfortable after studying them that the safety was way better than ICE, where petrol pools on the ground, or many big battery chemistries, where putting the fire out is a major issue.

Of the three, ICE, most non solid state lithium big battery chemistries, or fuel cells, I would choose the last on safety grounds if I were in a car for fire and explosive issues.


It would be interesting to see how it would go with smaller batteries, i.e. 20 or 30 kWh.
This would make for a smaller cheaper and lighter vehicle.
IMO, they should make it "extender agnostic" so it could use a petrol or diesel range extender generator. It wouldn't be as clean as a fuel cell running on H2, but it might be cheaper and more versatile in that it could be used where there is no H2 infrastructure.


When they gonna starting a hydrogen infrastructure for cars.



You can basically stick in whatever size battery fits the application, and some of the hybrid Kangoo's had a range of sizes.

But amongst the trade offs are of course range, so for everyday use this will basically be a BEV, although with cold weather taken care of as the fuel cell can run and provide heat to both keep the occupants warm and the battery at optimum temperature.

A smaller battery might have done the job, but depending on the chemistry chosen as of course it would cycle more might have more limited life, and possibly involve more use of rare or expensive battery ingredients.

Since they are aiming for sustainability and recyclability with this design they are focussing on that more in the battery pack, it would seem,

Renault don't publish their internal GHG accounting and costings, which is a bit of a shame, but I have no reason to think that they are not a pretty fair take.

For those who are as nerdy as me and enjoy such things, here is the excellent GHG accounting for the Polestar 2, who do make their data public, and which I looked into in some depth:

Ball park Renault are going to be saving a shed load of emissions in the build against a long range BEV, with a battery half the size, but running may be somewhat more GHG intensive depending on the source of the hydrogen, but much of the mileage will still be on electricity though.

Their figures may be somewhat lower than for most manufacturers, if they are making extensive use of France's considerable nuclear contribution in the energy for the build, rather than the European average carbon footprint.


Carbon body panels is carbon that did not go into the air


Before everyone gets too excited, I would note that this is not a real car, it is a concept car. This concept has both a 40 kWhr battery and a hydrogen fuel cell. I would suggest that if it was plugged in and almost never run on hydrogen, it would probably be only a little less efficient than the basic Nissan Leaf which also has a 40 kWhr battery but does not have the weight (or cost) of a hydrogen fuel cell and. tank to carry around. I not sure what they are comparing this vehicle with or how they claim that got the claim that it would have a 75% smaller carbon footprint. It is amazing what you can do if you do not need to produce a real vehicle for a real cost. Anyway, this whole exercise smacks of green washing BS.

Every time that I see fuel cells recommended for light vehicles, I see the finger prints of big oil and the desire to keep up the flow of natural gas that can be turned into hydrogen using steam reformation. If we truly had green hydrogen, it would much better to use it to replace the grey hydrogen that is now used for industrial purposes. e..g. make ammonia for fertilizer, etc.



Fair comment. We are some way off rolling out fuel cell hybrid cars, partly due to cost, but mainly perhaps due to limited infrastructure.

The way that the puzzle is being tackled in Europe by Stellantis and Renault is the introduction of commercial fuel cell hybrids, using Symbio fuel cells, in association with Michelin.

Here is Stellantis, with the article also referencing Renault:

' The vans are based on full-electric versions, and use a “mid power” hybrid powertrain that can deliver 400 km (250 miles) of zero-emission range on the WLTP cycle without having to spend hours recharging batteries, the brands said.

At the heart of the powertrain is a 10.5 kilowatt-hour battery, which can be recharged conventionally with a plug, offering 50 km of range. This range is included in the 400k m total figure.

But its primary source of charge is a 45-kilowatt fuel cell with a 4.4-kg tank that can be refueled in three minutes.

The brands say the hydrogen powertrain does not affect cargo capacity, which is 5.3 cubic meters for a shorter version and 6.1 cubic meters for a longer version. The vans have a payload of about 1,000 kg.'

Note the smaller battery and the beefier fuel cell in the application.

For many routes for commercial vehicles it is easier to figure out if there are enough hydrogen stations in the area to make the typical routes practical.

So for instance if you are buying a van in Paris, you might not need extensive hydrogen coverage elsewhere in France.

In the last few days in response to the events in Ukraine hydrogen production and roll out has been accelerated in Europe, which should help.


@ sd:
I could not agree more with your comment.


“Renault Group through Hyvia (joint venture with Plug Power) already offers hydrogen solutions on LCVs.”
This works well in many applications particularly if you have your own H2 infrastructure.
For Military, Light Aircraft, LCVs a Range Extended EV where Plug In would be difficult this could work well since it would be able to applied in addition to the BEV architecture. And as @Davemart points out, Methanol would be even better.


The new ceramic electrolysis can make hydrogen
from renewable natural gas at point of sale

Roger Pham

Countries that are fast-tracking the H2 infrastructure are those that do not have much NG reserves and have to import massive quantities of NG. So, the H2 to be produced from Renewables and Nuclear is intended to replace the NG that has to be imported.

My crystal ball tells me that eventually pure H2 will replace Natural Gas (NG) in existing NG piping systems, and thus H2 transportation will be just as easy as transporting NG currently, and H2 will be available everywhere NG is available. The Ukraine war though very devastating, is a major boost for rapid acceleration of green H2 development to replace NG. Necessity is the mother of invention !

When H2 will be available everywhere, then it would be a no-brainer to have Plug-in FCV (PFCV) with 40-mi range on battery and the rest on H2. This would require only 1/5 to 1/10 the battery capacity of a long-range BEV, thus would greatly alleviate the constrain of battery-making resources, ease the massive investment required on battery factories, ease the resources requirement for making FC since the FC stack will be much smaller in a PFCV vs in a FCV, and would allow us to accelerate much faster toward Zero-Emission mobility utilizing Green Energy.

A PFCV would solve the long charging time of a full BEV, and would also solve the slow acceleration of a full FCV since battery can provide a surge of power much more readily than the FC stack. People living in apartments can still own a PFCV and can charge it at work using daytime solar energy, while can travel long distances on weekends using H2 energy.
Here, we can see that an-universally-available H2 network will rapidly accelerate Green and Zero-Emission Mobility.


I am looking forward to seeing the revised plans for hydrogen infrastructure and hopefully tightened regulations for CO2 intensive sources from the new Government in Australia.

New Zealand along with Switzerland is in the lead in rolling out hydrogen infrastructure for heavy freight, and will soon have 80% coverage in its long distance routes.

Hopefully Australia will copy them!

Roger Pham

Australia have a vast potential to become the World's leader in H2 export and the king in future energy, given the vast stretches of sunny desert land in the continent, to replace the current coal export now.

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