Renault launches hydrogen range-extender in electric Kangoo and Master vans

Renault hydrogen van

Hydrogen fuel cell acts as range-extender to give up to three times the range of regular battery-electric variants

Renault has revealed its first hydrogen vehicles, the Kangoo ZE Hydrogen and Master ZE Hydrogen, making it the first manufacturer to bring hydrogen-powered vans to production.

However, while cars such as the Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai are powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell, Renault is using a fuel cell as a range-extender to the vans’ existing battery-electric powertrain.

While the Kangoo ZE and Master ZE will still be available in regular battery-electric form, the range-extender fuel cell variants add up to three times more range, with both offering at least 217 miles. Renault said another advantage of hydrogen is that refilling [of the hydrogen tank] takes only five to 10 minutes.

The Kangoo ZE Hydrogen will land later this year and the larger Master ZE Hydrogen in 2020. Right-hand-drive versions of the models aren’t yet confirmed for the UK; a Renault spokesman said the decision depends on demand.

It’s likely the technology will extend to other Renault vehicles, although the French firm wouldn’t comment on such a move.

Denis Le Vot, boss of light commercial vehicles at Renault-Nissan, said: “These vehicles provide professionals with all the range they require for their long-distance journeys as well as record charging times.

“And the advantages do not stop there, as the Master ZE Hydrogen and Kangoo ZE Hydrogen can run on decarbonised energy that respects the environment while offering all the comfort of electric driving.”

The Kangoo ZE Hydrogen will be priced from €48,300 (£41,537) in France; Master ZE Hydrogen pricing is yet to be confirmed.

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Source: Autocar Online

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