Renault Teases New Hydrogen Powered Concept

Renault joins the move towards hydrogen as an alternative to BEV to meet zero emissions targets with a sneak peek at its latest concept.

While several Japanese automakers explore the faster route to hydrogen adoption using ICE, it’s uncertain whether the French carmaker will be focused on the more costly hydrogen fuel cell technology. That said, its short press release does describe the vehicle as “featuring a hydrogen engine” which leaves the door open for speculation that it may employ ICE.

As Japan’s automaker’s have highlighted, converting existing ICE powertrains to burn hydrogen is a comparatively simple and cheap process. However, the main hurdle with this technology is energy density which, at present, can’t match that of gasoline or BEV technology.

On the other hand, just as BEV’s limited range capabilities will restrict its adoption to users on shorter commutes, hydrogen ICE could suit users who only require a medium range that will still, pound-for-pound, be more cost effective than BEV or hydrogen fuel cell.

Whatever the outcome, the vehicle, designed under the direction of Gilles Vidal, Renault design director, illustrates that automakers are not as BEV-blinkered as many might have thought and continue to explore other clean technologies. This new concept car will be officially unveiled in May 2022.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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