Fleet of 50 Kangoo Z.E. With Fuel Cells To Hit French Roads

NOV 11 2014 BY MARK KANE 27

Nissan EPORO

Nissan EPORO ask if fuel cells are a viable option?

For the next 18-months, a fleet of 50 fuel cell light commercial vehicles will be deployed under the HyWay project for tests around 2 hydrogen distribution stations in Lyon and Grenoble in France.

Those cars are the Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. H2, which for some time have been on sale in Europe as the battery electric car Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. and it seems that HyWay converted them.

Under the project HyWay, France will deploy 50 fuel cell light commercial vehicles around 2 hydrogen distribution stations in Lyon and Grenoble. The project is jointly supported by the government (DREALs and ADEME) and the Regional Council of Rhône-Alpes .”

“The 18-month project will use 50 Kangoo ZEs fitted with fuel cells. Seven industrial partners, alongside the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), are conducting this demonstration project: Air Liquide; the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR); Gas Electricité de Grenoble (GEG); McPhy; PUS (Cofely Services); STEF; and Symbio FCELL.”

The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. H2 is equipped with 75l hydrogen tank, compressed to 350 bar and can be refilled in five minutes. But, according to Journal Auto, the fuel cell stack alone cost as much as some electric cars:

“The project is to industrialize HyWay integrable with Kangoo ZE hydrogen kits, giving them a range of 300 km in the urban cycle,” concluded Tenerrdis. This would also reduce somewhat the price of the fuel cell, which is just over € 25,000!”

Source: France Mobilite Electrique & Journal Auto via Green Car Congress

Categories: Renault

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27 Comments on "Fleet of 50 Kangoo Z.E. With Fuel Cells To Hit French Roads"

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This is a second phase deployment.
They have been running three of them successfully since around last December:
The drivers love them, and they extend range well even at altitude where diesel would be very dirty.

“The project is to industrialize HyWay integrable with Kangoo ZE hydrogen kits, giving them a range of 300 km in the urban cycle,” concluded Tenerrdis. This would also reduce somewhat the price of the fuel cell, which is just over € 25,000!”

Wow! That is more than the tax and ZEV credits and the losses to shareholders of a Tesla S!

Of course, they intend to get costs way down before doing something like going to a production run in the tens of thousands.

Losses to Tesla shareholders? Are you on the same planet as the rest of us Dave?

As to the trial, I wish them success. In a fossil-free future there is likely a role for Fuel cell vehicles in niche applications, provided the H2 comes from renewable sources of course.


Tesla sold 7,785 cars in the third quarter and lost $75 million on them on a GAAP basis.
That comes to $9,600 loss per car.

So yep, on my planet we use financial accounts, and Tesla make a stonking loss and are a massive charge to the Government for tax breaks and to other drivers who pay for ZEV in addition.

So what happens on your planet?

ICEv subsidize FCEV

For Tesla there is no ICE cash flow.

Tesla is investing to become a full line automaker on the level of Volvo today but currently only selling one premium sedan.

Tesla makes over $30k on each Model S it sells. Currently, that is not enough to cover corporate overhead,fund expansion and provide a profit.

That is ok Tesla has $2.4B of cash on hand.

I am aware of the Tesla gloss.
However the bottom line is that Tesla is losing nearly $10k on every car it produces on a GAAP basis.
GAAP is Generally Accepted Accounting Practises, and why Tesla has to provide them legally, underneath the more imaginative dressing they highlight.

What you are saying dm is true but what are you comparing them to? Not gas/diesel cars I hope? Certainly not Hydrogen cars. Who are you comparing Tesla to Dave? Oh, there is no one to compare them to.

I was commenting on the price of 25k Euros for the stack at a volume of 50 cars, and indicating that perhaps it is not so shocking when tax subsidies credits together with the loss per car means that the Tesla, at a rate of 30,000 a year, is in the red to around $30k or so per car.

That is one heck of a total bill by the time that that volume of production is reached.

What is your concern is with Teslas bills?

So the price of the just the fuel cell itself is more than the unsubsidized price of an entire Chevy Spark EV? (~$27K) What a bargain.

What do you reckon the cost of the first few tens of battery electric cars was?

They aren’t producing 30,000 of them in a year at massive losses and costs to the Government.

Right, but you keep saying they will be. The loss will be MUCH MUCH greater and the cost to the tax payers will also be much greater than that of pure electric cars. Whats your point? Oh, I know, oh yeah, and most of us here do.

France . . . you have massive amounts of excess nuclear power generated electricity available at night . . . why not use it to charge up EVs?

Just sayin’.

Even if you get the fuel cell stack price down from 25k Euro you still have the fuel cell efficiency problem,

It’s still cheaper to mass produce electricity at a centralized power plant, send it over the grid to charge a battery, than it is to make hydrogen from natural gas or water, compress it, store it on board a fuel cell vehicle and later generate the electricity on board.

But using wasted nuclear to create and store hydrogen to be stored and then used whenever and exactly needed makes pretty good sense too, yes?

If only those darned consumers would plug in their EVs at exactly the time(s) that we have excess production..

here come the smart-meters, heheh.

Every step away ice is positive, even the slow halting steps fuel cell vehicles are making.

Hydrogen, the complicated way of burning fossil fuels.

Well, you could burn hydrogen the simple way but that is not very efficient. But much cheaper.

This story fails to point out that these Kangoos are set up with fuel cell range extenders. It still has the full size Kangoo ZE battery pack. The fuel cell only has to run when the battery gets low. This is the way FCEV should be done IMHO. The problem is that you have an expensive battery and an expensive fuel cell. Hopefully the fuel cell in this application is smaller than the FCEVs that have only 1 to 2 kWh battery.

makes a very important point…

An “FCV” is really a BEV with an on-board range extender that happens to be a fuel cell rather than an ICE or turbine.

That is exactly what the design of this is.
It enables much greater load and longer distances than they could do by simply putting in more batteries, which is why the DOE is also keen on them for delivery vehicles and there is an ongoing program.


I admit to knowing literally next to nothing about FCVs, save what I read here and online. However, are they going to be cheaper than BEV’s? Not now, I realize that this will take time. However, I fail to see any evidence that they will ultimately be cheaper. They don’t seem to have any advantages to refueling(right now, as there are almost no locations where one could refill)that won’t be likely solved by battery prices coming down as the size goes up, making longer trips in a BEV hassle free. I know, projected, not proven yet. Nevertheless, they don’t seem to be cheaper, nor faster. Are they cleaner? Can they be refilled at home as easily as plugging into my garage wall? Honestly, I want to know why anyone would push this technology? I am open to them, but I just don’t see the need…or the advantages.

Over 12 years costs of the fuel stack have fallen by 95% and continue to fall far faster than battery energy density increases.

The big car makers and the DOE all reckon that they can get costs down to ICE level without the oil dependency or pollution.

It would be theoretically possible to refuel at home, and Honda have done some work on it, but fuelling at a station is likely to be far cheaper.

However FCEV fits well with PHEV which is what VW intends to build, and Toyota have spoken well of, so in that configuration it would be possible to charge at home for everyday running around, and use hydrogen for longer runs where you would still have a noise, vibration and pollution free car which could be fuelled up as fast as an ICE.

The problem with all the FCEVs that are under development for individual use is that they are NOT designed to be plug-ins. This Kangoo is the only FCEV that I’ve seen which is truly range extended. Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, etc. have only shown FCEVs that exclusively get energy from Hydrogen fueling stations. No plug whatsoever and minuscule battery sizes.

What if your fuel cell ran using gasoline instead of hydrogen ?

Would you still call it an electric car ?

Still no information as to the public refueling cost.. I guess they’re still in trial stage.

I hope they don’t get their fuel to make hydrogen from $110 a ton coal like the Ukraine just bought from Africa! THat would be pricey hydrogen.


Doesn’t the Toyota FCV have a range of 300+ miles? If so, I don’t care what the size of their battery is. However, if you are referring to Plug in Hybrid FCV, then I understand your point. What has me scratching my head about FCV’s are the questions I posed yesterday and DaveMart replied to. But I have yet to see any indication of what the true day to day operating costs will be of a FCV versus a BEV. In my mind, if the only change to the average driver is that an FCV will cost more than an ICE, then the FCV camp are all in for big problems. Maybe, if governments get even more stringent about pollution regulations,FCV will be almost mandatory.If financially feasible, it has potential for those who lack access to charging at home or work. Still, I just am not impressed with the benefits of FCV versus BEV. In a few years I believe FCV’s will have dropped in price, but so will BEV’s, so what is the compelling case for FCV’s?