hydrogen and R5, exclusive interview Luca de Meo

Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, took advantage of Change Now to present the new Scenic Vision concept, in a hybrid electric-hydrogen engine, which could shake the C segment from 2024 and should be one of the highlights of the Renaulution that the leader has been orchestrating since he took office.

Apart from that, he agreed to answer some questions about his plans for the diamond brand, as well as his vision for the electrification of the car.

5 questions to Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault:

It’s been 30 years since you joined Renault and it’s been almost 2 years since you came back through the front door. Do you think the house has changed?
As far as I can remember, the spirit is quite similar to what I discovered during my first position in the industry. Without a doubt, Renault is much more international today. The creation of the Alliance made people speak more English, travel around the world to group places. Overall, Renault has maintained this strong creative dimension, sometimes even too creative. There are some interesting things that we don’t always know where they come from. In fact, but don’t get me wrong, Renault is a somewhat undisciplined company whose energies sometimes have to be channeled. It is for this reason that we have decided to isolate certain entities in order to create “subcultures” of the company whose mission is very clear. For example, for electrical dynamics, we proceeded in this way to be perfectly in tune with the logic of new business.

Just introduced the concept car Scenic vision. Will the resulting vehicle be a milestone for the Renaulution?
The Scenic is an important car for the future of Renault. We found it essential to keep the name because Scenic is the very embodiment of the concept of the car to live. It really is a distinctive element that shows that Renault knows how to create inclusive cars. Our vehicles are for everyone, not just the driver. The Scenic Vision will have the function of the first car in the family: both to take the children to school and to go to work, but also to the countryside on the weekend or to go on holiday. From a design standpoint, I would like to point out that 70% of the materials used are recycled and more than 95% of the car will be recyclable, including the battery. It will be an important product for the market and is already part of the Renaulution cocktail with the R5 which is also announced for 2024.

The Renault Scenic Vision concept presented by Luca de Meo. DR

“Create Upload Airbnb”

Precisely, what role does the R5 play?
The announcement of the R5, almost on my arrival, allowed me to reconnect with the roots of the brand that I think are deeply rooted in people’s minds: colors, shapes but also travel memories. .. and somehow. the glorious era of Renault. It should be remembered that when this model was introduced, Renault was in the hole, with all possible negative speculation. I’ll save you the listing. With the launch of this project, we immediately reconnected with the values ​​of hope. Of course, I see some who already think I want to do the 500 trick again. It’s true that this story worked well but it can’t work every time. Here, in the specific case, we invent a concept based on known aesthetic codes but to imagine a car that has nothing to do with the original R5. We are moving forward because we are going with an electric car that is part of the opening to a new era of cheap cars. But obviously I will not redo any of the above rank figures.

Isn’t electricity still a bit opaque to many drivers? In the city, there are too few fast charging terminals, private car parks often have no plugs, charging rates are not fixed …
Yes, that is the challenge we face. First of all, you need to take care of the customer by educating them about these new uses, explaining how to use a route planner to plan your trip. At Renault, we are in the process of creating Airbnb recharging. We suggest that electricians make contact with the owners of terminals, both individuals and companies, to go and charge at home. The Scenic Vision with 90 kWh batteries will be able to satisfy 85% of the uses. You will tell me that there are still 15% of scenarios that are not covered. We will look for solutions and we will get there! There’s still a manufacturer that sold nearly a million electric cars in the world in 2021 and it’s worth $ 1 billion … that means, I think, people believe in it and are willing to buy that kind of car.

The electricity market obviously worries future generations, the famous millennials who, however, have other motivations, other priorities, other ways of working … How can the automotive industry take care of them?
I’m well positioned to know because I have two boys in their twenties. They love supercars, obviously Italian. It makes them dream! The first question to ask is how do we make this generation dream of what we are capable of producing. Similarly, compared to a PS5, an iPhone 13 or even the metavers that are its benchmarks, how do you manage, with a car, to awaken this same fascination with democratized high technology? There is another factor to consider. For a young person, owning a car has become much more complex than it was 30 years ago. For a number of reasons. However, I believe in this idea that we can get this generation to fall in love with the car. We have to get on with it, that’s our role.

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