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Renault models, news & reviews
By Richard Aucock
27 June 2008 09:00
Renault, that so traditional and straight-laced of car companies. It makes sensible family cars and MPVs for sensible folk. The Regie doesn’t do revolution lightly. But, for the past decade, it’s quietly been having an environmental revelation. Why? Because sustainability chimes perfectly with the way its family-orientated customers think, too. Which is how we’ve got this: a working, driveable compact MPV… with a fuel cell. And zero emissions. Wow indeed.
Well, yes, and no. ‘Fuel cell’ sounds space-age stuff, but it isn’t, really. See it as, like Renault, just a range-extender for an electric vehicle. Renault’s equivalent of the Toyota Prius’ petrol engine, if you like. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen, but unlike BMWs combusting hydrogen, it isn’t actually burned. Instead, it’s electrolysed. Byproduct: water. ZEV, then. Zero-Emission Vehicle.
Management wanted people to concentrate on the tech, not the swoopy lines or other-worldly interior. This isn’t technology that’s beyond the realms, but a sensible long-term solution to reduce our dependence on oil. Wrap it up in a spaceship and that’s the perception people will take of the tech. Wrong. It’s much more viable than that.
This Scenic still has five seats, still has the same interior, the same controls as a regular auto. It proves fuel cells can marry to today’s cars, that it isn’t ‘that different’ to drive than a diesel auto. That Renault’s sensible customer set won’t be blown away when, in a decade’s time, it arrives to extend the range of electric vehicles by then already in production.
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Renault Scenic ZEV H2 prototype (2008) CAR review
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RE: Renault Scenic ZEV H2 prototype CAR review
It looks like a plain Scenic because it's CHEAPER than doing a Prius/FCX Clarity. They need a monospace so nobody has to work too hard fitting the borrowed innards. Credit Nissan for at least doing a concept. They at least look like they can keep up with Honda and Toyota.
28 June 2008 03:54
Now if Renault could just put a Nissan badge on this (it wouldn't be the first time), it might sell in Japan. All depends on the cost of fuel, though, doesn't it. The new 'Rissan'would have to be cheaper to run than the Prius.
28 June 2008 02:02
Sounds perfect- it can't come a moment too soon! I think the next ten years are going to be extremely exciting in terms of automotive advancements. It just goes to show that after decades of environmental campaigning- all it took was a £1.30 litre of petrol for the demand for these types of developments to exist.
Are we going to be in for a technological battle a la VHS/Betamax or Blueray/HDDVD? Are the fuel stations going to have to support sixteen different fuel types in ten years time or will we all end up driving the same thing?
27 June 2008 13:36
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