French car manufacturer Renault unveiled a potentially groundbreaking reimagining of their Scénic model that features a battery that runs on hydrogen. The announcement was a part of a ChangeNOW summit that took place today in Paris.
Gilles Vidal, the Vice President of Design for the company, explained that the battery is actually dually reliant on electricity and hydrogen. Hydrogen batteries are a promising power source for electric vehicles as they can store more energy per kilogram of battery than lithium-ion batteries, but obtaining the hydrogen to fuel these batteries can be an energy intensive process in and of itself. Renault was mum on other details about the battery, but revealed on Twitter that the battery could be charged using HYVIA’s hydrogen charging stations. While the car will launch in 2024, the company says that the battery will not be commercially available until 2030. Renault CEO Luca de Meo claims that the car will also be made of 70% recycled materials, and will 95% of the car can be recycled at the end of its life.
The car is only one small part of Renault’s bid to become more sustainable: they’re shooting for carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040. “What we’re trying to do is decarbonize the entire life cycle of our cars, from raw material sourcing to the full recycling of the car,” de Meo explained. Renault has already worked their commitment to sustainability into the construction of the Scénic Vision, which features seats and floor mats made from recycled plastic and paint dyed with carbon captured from the atmosphere, Vidal explained.
“I strongly believe that we are building the future, reconciling sustainability and profitability,” de Meo said.
While the car sounds awesome (and looks like it was pulled straight out of Blade Runner), we’ll believe it when we see it. Rollout of Renault’s hydrogen battery technology is still years away, but if it pans out, could be a game changing application for the energy technology.