(Bloomberg) -- Renault SA is developing a family-sized passenger car that will run on electricity for short drives and hydrogen for longer trips as part of the company’s push into fuel-cell technology.
Dubbed Scenic Vision, the vehicle will have a carbon footprint that’s 75% lower than that of a conventional EV because it uses mostly recycled materials and a smaller battery, Renault said Thursday. The company plans to put the hybrid powertrain into vehicles from around 2030, a spokesperson said.
Chief Executive Officer Luca de Meo is rolling out more battery-powered models and aims to catch up with rivals in the popular sport utility vehicle segment. He has pledged a fresh lineup as part of a turnaround made more challenging by Renault’s costly pullout from Russia.
Still, the hydrogen push makes Renault an outlier among carmakers as the technology is still hampered by high costs and a lack of fueling infrastructure. Across all automakers, hydrogen-powered vehicles are forecast to account for just 0.1% of global production by 2029, according to research released Wednesday from climate think tank InfluenceMap.
Toyota Motor Corp. remains the biggest proponent of hydrogen, which only emits water vapor, though the world’s biggest carmaker has changed tack with plans to add battery-electric models to keep pace with the rest of the industry. BMW AG has said the technology could become an alternative for larger vehicles.
Read more: Renault, Plug Power Venture to Make Hydrogen Vans
Renault said about 70% of the Scenic Vision’s materials will be recycled, including a floor made from old plastic pipes and milk containers and a fuel cell membrane using platinum from discarded catalytic converters. The car’s exterior design will mimic an all-electric model scheduled to hit the market in 2024.
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