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Monday, August 18, 2008
Renault Scenic Hydrogen - ZEV H2
Image: Courtesy of Renault

Renault and Nissan Create The Scenic ZEV H2

Renault has recently shown their new prototype Scenic ZEV H2 hydrogen fuel cell car to the media. Renault collaborated with Nissan to jointly design the engineering modifications to the Scenic ZEV H2 fuel cell car, using the body of the Renault Grand Scenic as the starting point. Renault redesigned the Scenic's floor and raised the overall ground clearance by 60 mm (2.36 inches) to accommodate the fuel cell stack, the high pressure hydrogen tank, and the lithium ion battery pack.

Test drives of this new hydrogen zero emissions Scenic have been very positive, with remarks that the ZEV H2 has the road feel of the gasoline or diesel version of the car. Renault's Patrick-Henri Girard, Project Manager of the Renault Nissan FCV Program explained that the ZEV H2 uses a 90 kW electric motor that is powered by the fuel cell stack and the lithium ion battery pack. Under heavy acceleration, the Scenic ZEV H2 draws power off both the battery and the fuel cell stack simultaneously, with the battery providing the surge power so as to not load up the demand on the hydrogen fuel cell conversion process. Regenerative braking is also incorporated in the ZEV H2 for charging the battery during deceleration.

Nissan engineers worked together with Renault on the ZEV H2's fuel cell powertrain, with the fuel cell stack being a Nissan design that is designed to react to the electrical demands of the drive motor, the heating/air conditioning system, ABS brakes, and the Air Bag safety system. The resultant fuel cell drive system gave the ZEV H2 prototype more than adequate initial acceleration and passing power capability on the test track. One of the test comments was just how quiet the interior cabin was under acceleration and cruising.

The Scenic ZEV H2 is configured per the following layout: The electric motor drive system is integrated with the front-wheel drive transaxle, the fuel cell is under the rear passenger floor, the hydrogen tank is stowed under the rear cargo area, and the lithium ion battery pack is mounted under the floor behind the rear passengers. Interior displays are a fuel cell system digital monitoring system, a hydrogen pressure indicator, and the electric motor rpm gauge in the place of the rev gauge from the standard Grand Scenic.

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