July 19, 2024

Renault Design Talks: eco-design rewrites the future of cars says Cléa Martinet, Renault Group’s VP Sustainable Development


At a time when sustainability is becoming one of the bedrocks to build a next-gen automotive company that is fully aware of the societal and environmental challenges it has to tackle, automobile design is emerging as one of the essential levers for impact. Because the first step to create a more sustainable car is the drawing board. Renault’s goal on this quest, with its new design language developed under Gilles Vidal’s leadership, is to forge a new user experience. This new paradigm revolves around preserving resources and reducing a vehicle’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle. While using this new creative angle to leverage engagement.

We are keeping the Group’s promise to be eminently human – and completely overhauling the way we design vehicles. Scenic E-Tech electric is the first Renault vehicle with built-in commitments relating to sustainability and decarbonisation, from cradle to grave, even from cradle to cradle, in terms of recycled content and recyclability.”

Cléa Martinet, VP Sustainable Development, Renault Group  

Renault Scenic E-Tech electric: the vision on the road

A new angle for car design, tendering innovative, more responsible and safer mobility: that was the Renault brand’s and its designers’ goal for the fifth Scenic generation. Desirability and sustainability interlink, and Renault’s vision transcends conventions. Can an electric car be desirable and sustainable at once? Gilles Vidal’s answer is a categorical yes. This new approach is noble, and centred around creating products that are practical as well as rooted in daily life.

Renault Scenic E-Tech electric is this new approach in action – and uses a variety of recycled materials including several from closed loops (recycled materials made from the same used material). At the end of its life, most of the vehicle will be recyclable in industrial facilities. It is also produced in a full, more sustainable and more responsible ecosystem, assembled in France near its end markets (at the ElectriCity in Douai) and powered by a motor from Ampere’s Megafactory in Cléon.

This way, sustainability becomes a facilitator for more free, fun and enjoyable mobility. It is the opposite of a downside: the automotive realm becomes a space where sustainable development intertwines with a more rewarding user experience.

Eco-design fuels creativity

Designing a car from a new angle, specifically to address sustainability, was a challenge that Gilles Vidal and his teams started taking on as soon as they began sketching. Their aim to create a car that is as sustainable as it is stunning triggered their creativity and pointed them towards some of their visual choices – not the other way around. This design anticipates trends in society and tackles them in innovative ways. Once the trends are built in, cars become modern automotive objects tailored to these trends. One tangible example of this approach is Scenic E-Tech electric’s aerodynamics. It is much more than a technical feature: it adds expression to exterior design while lowering energy consumption and extending the car’s range.

“Eco-design isn’t an afterthought in the design process: it is the essential starting point. Design is intrinsically associated with creating a sustainable vehicle. Every line, every curve, every detail is thought through to embed sustainability in the car from the very beginning of the creative process.”

Gilles Vidal, VP Design Renault 

A step towards eco-emotion, and rewriting the future

True success, for Gilles Vidal, is sparking eco-emotion in a car. Creating practical vehicles that appeal to the driver’s emotions while advancing sustainability is this creative endeavour’s grail. Design is a vital ally and accelerator on this quest to make avantgarde vehicles that address climate concerns, manage resources responsibly and show consideration for the people using them. The future of automotive design, in other words, will stem from a deep shift in the way mobility is perceived and understood. Vehicles spur positive change: beyond a rousing look and feel behind the wheel, they factor environmental requirements into the equation from the start – and, in the process, lay the foundation for a new era of eco-responsible and inspiring mobility.

  • Renault Scenic E-Tech electric (1)
  • Renault Scenic E-Tech electric (3)
  • Clea Martinet, VP Sustainable Development, Renault Group
  • Renault Scenic E-Tech electric
  • Design Talks_ eco-design rewrites the future of cars
  • Gilles Vidal, VP Design, Renault Brand
  • Renault Scenic E-Tech electric (2)

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