New electric van variants feature hydrogen fuel cell gear that works as a range extender.
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The Renault Kangoo ZE Hydrogen and Renault Master ZE Hydrogen have been unveiled overnight, and promise more driving range than the pure-electric models they're based on.

Both vans use their fuel cells as a range extender, recharging the their already decently-sized battery packs.

Depending on the type of charger used, recharging the batteries on these vans can take hours, while refilling the hydrogen tank only requires a few minutes.

Although wall sockets are ubiquitous and car chargers becoming ever more common, hydrogen filling stations are still a very rare sight.

For both models, installation of the hydrogen fuel cell equipment occurs after they've rolled off regular production lines.


Master

The Renault Master ZE Hydrogen will go on sale in Europe from the first half of 2020. Based on the electric Master ZE, the Hydrogen also features two 53L high-pressure hydrogen tanks under the body, and a hydrogen fuel cell up front.

These additions mean the Hydrogen model is around 200 kilograms heavier than the pure electric variant.

Renault says the Master ZE Hydrogen should have a driving range of 350 kilometres under the WLTP standard. That's a significant increase from the regular Master ZE, which can only manage 120km before its batteries need to be recharged.

When it goes on sale, the Master ZE Hydrogen will be available in both medium and long wheelbase formats as either a van or cab chassis.

The automaker claims there's "no compromises on the load volume", and the van will have a cargo area capacity of between 10,800 and 20,000 litres depending on the model.


Kangoo

The Kangoo ZE Hydrogen takes the pure-electric Kangoo ZE van, and adds a 74L hydrogen tank and hydrogen fuel cell towards the rear of the vehicle.

According to the WLTP methodology, the Kangoo ZE Hydrogen should have a total driving range of around 370km, up from 230km on the regular Kangoo ZE. Weight is up 100kg, while load capacity is now rated at 3900L.

The Kangoo ZE Hydrogen is now available in France for €48,300 ($78,700) – a significant step from the base Kangoo ZE, which retails for €33,800 ($55,000) before government incentives and VAT.