Renault Group of France is one one of the leaders in electric light commercial vehicles in Europe. The company has on offer a wide range of battery powered electric vehicles. Renault realised the importance of range and the range anxiety faced by owners of electric vehicles, especially commercial vehicle. As a result Renault partnered with Symbio, a Groupe Michelin subsidiary for developing hydrogen fuel cell based electric propulsion system. After five years of development, Renault is now offering hydrogen fuel cell based light commercial vehicles in the form of the Renault Master ZE and the Renault Kangoo ZE.
These vehicles are powered by electric motors and range extender fuel cells providing electric power as well as 10 KW of thermal power. These fuel cells have increased the range of the Renault Master from 120 km to over 350 km. The range of the Kangoo ZE is 370 km. The bigger advantage here is not only the extended range the fact that the hydrogen tank can be charged in 5 to 10 minutes and not in several hours as in case of battery operated vehicles.
The Renault Master ZE and Renault Kangoo ZE store hydrogen gas in two cylinders beneath the vehicle. This hydrogen combines with oxygen from the atmosphere in the fuel cell to generate electricity which is used to supply energy to the electric motor. The only byproduct of the process is water making the vehicle a zero emission vehicle. These vehicles will allow access to city centers where IC engine vehicles are not permitted. They will also allow fleet operators to deliver till the periphery of the cities and beyond due to the extended ranges.
Denis Le Vot, Alliance SVP, Renault-Nissan LCV Business Unit stated, “Groupe Renault completes its range of electric light commercial vehicles with the launch of Renault MASTER Z.E. Hydrogen and Renault KANGOO Z.E. Hydrogen. 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 Renault MASTER Z.E. Hydrogen and Renault KANGOO Z.E. Hydrogen can run on decarbonized energy that respects the environment while offering all the comfort of electric driving.”