A slightly different hybrid
Renault Scenic comes with a hydrogen reserve
May 21, 2022, 7:22 PM
Renault Scenic is still a vision. However, the French are already revealing what it will look like when it emerges as an electric car in 2024. Say goodbye to the once so popular smooth family car. The new one comes as an electric mix of an SUV and a beefy hatchback. All this combined with a wealth of green ideas.
The Renault Scenic debuted 26 years ago, and it’s for families who need space and enjoy traveling in comfort thanks to a better overview than regular limousines. He became a role model for many others, such as the Opel Zafira or the Volkswagen Touran. Meanwhile, the SUV boom has largely outpaced these pickup trucks. The last Scénic will soon be launched on the line, and the larger Grand Scénic will be extended.
Fans don’t have to be in mourning. At least the name will be preserved, but in the future it will decorate the car that has nothing in common with the original. In a Paris suburb, the new Scénic has now been unveiled. In two years, this will be Renault’s fourth electric car, after the Twingo, Zoe and Mégane E-Tech models. It follows the basic shape enjoyed by many new electric cars today. Whether it’s a Volkswagen ID.3, Hyundai Ionic 5 or big brother Renault Megane E-Tech: the new Golf class shines with a long wheelbase, wheels installed on the outside and a well-ventilated cabin, because many of the generating features of the combustion engine are not needed much longer. And since the flat battery cells are almost always hidden in the basement, the seating position is higher, which SUV enthusiasts can also accept.
Lots of shows to watch
No, the “Vision” study of the new Scénic has nothing to do with the future production car. But the silhouette and proportions won’t change much until it’s edited. A burly man, whose whole appearance represents a new kind of sport, which no longer depends on more and more horsepower, but wants to express modernity through the sometimes rough bodywork on the sides and rear. Combined with LED elements such as the eight individual floodlights at the front, which replace the well-behaved headlights hitherto. Many details will not make it real. This includes doors, which open in opposite directions according to the logic of the wardrobe, and therefore a central column should be dispensed with. It should not survive the crash test rules.
The interior design with the semi-rectangular control yoke is currently more for show without reference to reality. The many small additional screens are intended to provide information that can be grouped into a central screen. Also new are airbags that wrap around the occupants like a cocoon around the occupants.
Most important of these masterpieces is the serious intent to make the Scénic a truly “green” model. It’s about countless hidden materials and components that leave a large or less carbon dioxide footprint during their production. Examples include floors made of plastic recycled from milk bottles or plastic tubes, as well as all aluminum parts at Scénic. The same is true for 95 percent of the steel used. In total, 70 percent of recycled or renewable materials are used. The goal is also that 95 percent of the parts will be recyclable at the end of the Scénic’s life.
Battery and fuel cell
The technical data of the new Renault compact car is still largely classified. In the first step, he must use Mégane E-Tech. So the base model will use a 40 kWh battery and a 130 hp electric motor. Renault has not yet revealed whether the more powerful Mégane version (60 kWh battery, 220 hp) will also be available in the Scénic.
Surprisingly, however, is a new technology that aims to make the switch to an electric vehicle palatable to skeptical customers. It’s about the fear of range, and it’s still an argument for electricity deniers. The higher version should have a hybrid drive on board. Of course not a combustion engine like the current dual core systems. The Scénic will have a battery-mounted fuel cell on board that will produce 22 horsepower and will run on green hydrogen from a tank under the hood. The electricity generated in this way is not used directly for the motor, but is only responsible for recharging the battery. Renault wants to extend the electric range of the 40 kWh battery up to 800 km. If the hydrogen stock is depleted, refueling can be done in less than five minutes with the H2 pump.
Renault expects the network of hydrogen filling stations to become increasingly dense by the beginning of next year, and therefore wants to launch the hybrid landscape only then. To do this, however, the existing platform must be adapted to the new drive concept. So the electric motor moves to the rear, so the car gets rear-wheel drive. The idea: On day trips, the Scénic is no different from other electronic cars, as it draws its power from the battery. Before a long flight, the navigation system calculates how extensively the fuel cell is used as a backup power source. In cold weather, hydrogen energy can also be used to heat the battery temperature for a longer range. Engineers anticipate that the hydrogen tank will have to be refilled every three hours. Upon reaching the destination, the parked vehicle is normally recharged using the charging station.