Update: ‘Renault Germany stops sales of EVs and PHEVs’ and ‘Renault Megane E-Tech production halted’ sections added.
Renault Group unveiled the first model of its core brand’s Gen 2.0 EV line-up at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021) – the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric. With this model, the company is renewing efforts to regain lost ground in Europe’s popular family car segment.
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is the production avatar of the Megane eVision concept, which was an evolution of the Renault Morphoz concept. Although it’s a crossover by body style, it’s a pure electric alternative to the Renault Megane compact car.
Take a look at what we know about Renault’s next-generation electric car:
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric looks the same as the eVision concept for the most part. The production version has a less flashy front-end with revisions to the light clusters, but the shape of the elements is the same. Unlike the concept, the production car features the new ‘Nouvel’R’ logo that is flat and has minimalist vibes. However, the new logo doesn’t feature illumination. The side intakes have a new blade bisecting them for style.
While the eVision concept features a charging port on the driver side (left), the Megane E-Tech Electric has it on the passenger side (right). Also new are conventional mirrors that should cost lower (and meet global regulations) and smaller (20-inch) wheels that should provide a better ride and range. The automatic flush door handles are part of the standard equipment. Up top, a shark-fin antenna is present on the final model. At the rear, the tail lamps have received simpler clusters, while the Renault logo has adopted the new look and lost illumination.
The Renault Megane electric SUV looks youthful for a car its size. There aren’t any out-of-ordinary design elements, like two-tier headlamps, for instance. Chunky proportions and compact dimensions make it very athletic, and the slim, technical-looking headlights and rear lights and the sporty bumpers heighten its overall attractiveness.
At 4.21 meters (165.7 in.) long, 1.78 meters (70.1 in.) wide, and 1.50 meters (59.1 in.) tall, the Renault Megane eVision is roughly the size of the Hyundai Kona EV (164.6 in. x 70.9 in. x 61.2 in.). As a model designed as an EV from the ground up, it benefits from a long wheelbase of 2.70 meters (106.3 in.). For reference, the Korean electric SUV’s wheelbase is 102.4 in.
Inside, a highly digital cockpit and clean layout of elements give the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric minimalist vibes. There are very few physical controls, with most comfort/multimedia functions operable via a large portrait touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard.
An ‘OpenR’ panel brings together the digital instrument cluster and central console multimedia screen, making them look like a mirrored and inverted L-shaped screen. This panel houses the central air vents as well. The digital instrument cluster measures 12.3 inches, while the multimedia screen measures 9 or 12 inches, depending on the grade. These OpenR displays are part of the OpenR Link multimedia system developed with Google and based on Android Automotive OS. Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play are part of the default software package to provide a smartphone-like user experience for core functions.
The top-end ‘Techno’ variant in France gets premium features like wireless charging, Arkamys sound system with six speakers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and adaptive LED headlamps with anti-glare function. The range-topping ‘Iconic’ variant takes things one level above by offering features like a 9-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, heated seats with massage and memory function, automatic parking assist and leather upholstery.
That said, there’s a range of optional comfort packages to choose from for all variants for French customers. At EUR 1,300, the top-spec Iconic variant can be equipped with an ‘Augmented Vision and Driving Assist’ pack that adds features like heated mirrors, blind spot detection, radar with collision warning, automatic parking, 360 degree camera and adaptive cruise control, among many other features. That said, there’s also a Winter Pack (EUR 500) and Performance Pack (EUR 400-600) to choose from.
A sleek horizontal air vent covers the remaining width of the dashboard on the right side. The floating centre console has dedicated mobile phone storage space, and right below it, there’s some extra storage space to put other small items. The absence of a drive-shaft tunnel and a gearshift lever has allowed a flat floor for more space and comfort.
Our smart packaging improves roominess and trunk volume. It also provides great ergonomics with comfortable sitting position and rear legroom. All the powertrain elements are put on the front of the car, removing all crossing cable from the rear to the front. This creates more space and reduce weight and weight and cost. Heating ventilation and air conditioning is also located in the engine bay, creating a thinner dashboard.Laurence Excoffon, Alliance Platform Leader, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop)
Performance & range
The Renault Megane electric sits on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance’s CMF-EV platform, which underpins the Nissan Ariya. Its battery is 40% smaller than that of the Renault Zoe and weighs 395 kg. Renault Group claims that it is the thinnest battery on the market, allowing a low vehicle height.
There are two battery pack options: 40 kWh and 60 kWh. The 40 kWh battery pack consists of 8 modules of 24 cells each. The 60 kWh battery pack comprises 12 modules with 24 cells each. The 40 kWh battery pack has a single layer of modules, while the 60 kWh battery pack has two layers of modules. Renault Group guarantees that they won’t deteriorate to less than 70% of their nominal capacity for eight years.
On a full charge, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric can travel 300 km/186 miles (WLTP) in the 40 kWh variant and up to 470 km/280 miles (WLTP) in the 60 kWh variant. A heat pump is present in the EV to keep the range in check in the winter. The maximum AC charging power is good – 22 kW, but the maximum DC charging power is a disappointing 130 kW.
An electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) powers the wheels using the energy stored in either of the battery packs. The low-end configurations use a 96 kW (130 PS)/250 Nm motor, while the high-end configurations pack a punchy 160 kW (218 PS)/300 Nm version. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint takes just 7.4 seconds. However, the top speed is just 160 km/h (99 mph). The driver can choose from different braking regenerative levels, starting from Level 0 and going up to Level 3.
Price & release date
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric was launched in France on December 19, 2021, with ex-showroom prices ranging between EUR 35,200 (GBP 29,325) to EUR 51,400 (GBP 42,815). The Megane E-Tech Electric is available in three variants: Equilibre, Techno, and Iconic. French buyers can choose between two different battery packs and two electric motors as well.
The 130 hp model with the 40 kWh battery costs EUR 35,200, which plummets to EUR 29,200 thanks to a EUR 6,000 ecological incentive that the Megane EV is eligible for. The 220 hp version with the 60 kWh battery pack costs EUR 45,400, with an identical incentive.
Orders for the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric opened in February 2022. Production takes place in Douai, France. The first units of the E-Tech will be delivered to customers in May 2022, as per an Automobile Propre report filed on April 14, 2022.
Renault Megane E-Tech production halted
Renault has paused production of the Megane E-Tech Electric in France. According to the French media channel Automobile Propre, production at Douai will be suspended between 14 April to 25 April because of the shortage of semiconductor chips and a lack of components from the supply chain in Ukraine. The report adds that the French factory’s 2,300 employees will be put on short-time work.
Renault Megane Alpine
A few years after the launch, Renault could add a Megane E-Tech Alpine variant to the lineup with enhanced aerodynamics, sportier styling, improved electronics, and more powerful and torquier motors. The Alpine variant could get the same motors that generate 290 kW (394 PS) and 600 Nm of torque in Nissan’s Ariya long-range (87 kWh) AWD variant. The Megane E-Tech Alpine could have the capability to accelerate from 0-62 mph in around five seconds and a higher top speed.
By 2024, Renault Group plans to introduce what it calls ‘Gen 2 performance’ for sports cars, with an energy density of 700 Wh/l at the cell level. Eventually, this technology would trickle down into cars like the Megane E-Tech.
Our new platforms integrate our latest software, the electric route planner, and contextual Adaptive Cruise Control for better efficiency.Gilles Le Borgne, EVP Engineering, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop 2021)
The Megane E-Tech Alpine should carry a base price north of EUR 50,000.
Five stars for the 2022 Megane EV at Euro NCAP
All variants of the 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech Electric have been awarded five stars in the stringent Euro NCAP crash safety tests. The EV scored 85% in adult occupancy, 88% for child occupancy, while its safety was rated at 65% for vulnerable road users. The Euro NCAP video shows how intact the cabin remains in the front off-set impact test (50 kmph), full-width rigid barrier test (50 kmph), and side-impact test (60 kmph).
The Megane’s safety assist score was 79%, and its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) feature worked perfectly during the pedestrian impact tests in light and dark environments. The AEB identified cyclists reasonably quickly and avoided hitting them by a few millimetres. Active safety features like lane keep assist also worked perfectly on the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric. After the Zoe was awarded zero stars in 2021, the Megane EV’s score would relieve Renault.
Renault Germany stops sales of EVs and PHEVs
Renault Germany has resorted to a drastic measure to counter the sluggish supply-chain situation concerning automotive parts. The brand has temporarily paused taking new orders for its EVs and PHEVs in Germany on March 25, 2022, reported Edison.media. The models affected include the Zoe, Megane E-Tech, Twingo Electric, Master E-Tech, and the Megane and Captur PHEVs. The shortage of chips and cable harnesses has led to this temporary production halt.
The sluggish global supply chain situation, compounded by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has affected all carmakers. Manufacturers are increasingly struggling to deliver EVs and PHEVs to customers because of the parts shortages. Waiting times are over a year for certain models, and there’s no clarity as to how long customers will have to exercise patience.
Featured Image Source: Renault Group