Renault Scenic Vision presents an electric crossover with hydrogen range extender

Forget what you know about the Scenic as it’s a totally different take on the long-standing name. To begin with, it is no longer a minivan since Renault will transform the minivan into a crossover. Second, the gasoline engine is gone since it’s an electric concept. There’s more to it as it also has a range extender, but not an ICE like on the BMW i3 Rex, Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera or Fisker Karma.

The daring crossover’s unusual powertrain borrows the 215-hp electric motor from the Mégane E-Tech, from which it also inherited the smaller 40 kWh battery. It adds a 16kW fuel cell mounted under the floor into the mix that recharges the battery on the go. Renault explains that by going down this path, it can install a battery that is twice as light while offering the same range.

Speaking of weight, the Scenic Vision tips the scales at 1,700 kilograms (3,747 pounds), making it heavier than the Megane E-Tech. Why? Because the crossover is much larger, spanning 4,490 millimeters (176.7 in) long, 1,900 mm (74.8 in) wide and 1,590 mm (62.6 in) high. This makes it 291 mm (11.4 in) longer, 132 mm (5.2 in) wider and 85 mm (3.3 in) taller, with a wheelbase stretched by 150 mm (5.9 inches).

A production version will follow in 2024 on the same CMF-EV platform that underpinned the aforementioned Megane E-Tech as well as its sister model, the Nissan Ariya. However, don’t expect the hydrogen range extender at launch as it’s more of a “vision” than a near-production configuration.

The diamond-logoed company estimates that the fuel cell has a future and that a hydrogen vehicle will be able to travel up to 800 kilometers (500 miles) by the end of the decade without stopping for a five-hour recharge minutes.

There’s more to the Scenic Vision than its peculiar powertrain and angular styling, as Renault emphasizes its eco-friendly construction. It incorporates more than 70% recycled materials while being 95% recyclable (including the battery) at the end of its life cycle. Compared to a traditional battery-powered electric vehicle, the concept has a 75% lower carbon footprint.

Eco-focused construction is more than just a marketing fluff as the fuel cell tank is made from carbon fiber from recycled waste paper. There’s no leather inside the futuristic cabin since Renault replaced it with low-carbon recycled polyester. Almost a third of the plastic used comes from a sustainable source, while the black pigments in the paint are the by-product of processing particles captured from the atmosphere.

The “Scenic” will be on hiatus until 2024, when the concept will transition into a production version. Renault has just killed off the five-seater MPV while the three-row Grand Scenic will bow out later this year.

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