"Hydrogen is arriving at Renault as a complementary solution to its electric and hybrid strategy, to offer professionals a new solution for access to city centers, by removing the brake on autonomy for certain uses."
As the French manufacturer is already the clear leader of the electric LCV segment in Europe, the decision to add hydrogen REx is rather surprising. On the other hand, it's probably not a costly endeavor because the hydrogen tech was developed and is supplied by Michelin's subsidiary Symbio. Both partners were testing hydrogen REx setup since 2014.
The idea is to add to Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E. (both with 33 kWh batteries) a 10 kW hydrogen fuel cell to significantly increase the range for those for which the current generation of BEVs is not sufficient.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen will be available from the end of 2019, while Renault Master Z.E. Hydrogen is expected in the first half of 2020.
Renault says that the hydrogen fuel cell REx helps to increase the range and hydrogen can be refueled in 5-10 minutes. However, we must note that there are three important drawbacks: higher price (compared to standard Z.E.), higher weight (by 110 or 200 kg) and less cargo space (according to the installations seen on videos below).
"These hydrogen electric vehicles operate with a fuel cell, which combines hydrogen from its tanks with oxygen from the air to produce electricity (to power the electric motor). The first advantage: these vehicles meet the new environmental challenges of urban mobility. In addition, they offer increased autonomy, fast hydrogen recharging (from 5 to 10 minutes) and easy maintenance. These advantages make hydrogen electric light commercial vehicles particularly suitable for the intensive needs and uses of professionals in large urban areas up to the periphery of cities: transport and logistics, urban deliveries and multi-technical services, municipal and local authority services, express and special mail.
Always attentive to the market, Groupe Renault wishes to provide its Renault Pro+ professional customers a complementary tailor-made solution with Renault MASTER Z.E. Hydrogen and Renault KANGOO Z.E. Hydrogen."
Denis Le Vot, Alliance SVP, Renault-Nissan LCV Business Unit said:
"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.
Renault Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen
Renault Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen will be able to go up to 370 km (230 miles) WLTP compared to 230 km (143 miles) in all-electric Z.E.
The price in France was set at €48,300 ex. VAT ($53,800), which sounds kind prohibitive.
Hydrogen REx adds about 110 kg of weight, while the load volume is 3.9 m3.
"From the end of 2019, Renault KANGOO Z.E. Hydrogen will boast the best real-life range of any electric van on the market at 370* km (vs 230 km WLTP with Kangoo Z.E.). With a load volume of 3.9 m3, despite a reasonable additional weight of 110 kg, this vehicle will be available in France at €48,300 ex. VAT (including the battery purchase and not including ecological bonuses)."
Gallery: Renault Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen
Renault Master Z.E. Hydrogen
In the case of Master, the range can be increased from 120 km (75 miles) WLTP in Z.E. to 350 km (218 miles) WLTP in Z.E. Hydrogen.
Weight increased by 200 kg but there is no compromise in load volume. The price wasn't yet announced.
"Expected in first-half 2020, Renault MASTER Z.E. Hydrogen will triple the range from 120 km to 350* km and will be available in van (two versions) and chassis cab (two versions). Equipped with two hydrogen tanks located under the car body, the vehicle will gain in versatility with no compromises on the load volume from 10,8 m3 to 20 m3 with a reasonable additional weight of 200 kg."