This is the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric, which will be Renault’s first non-van-based pure-electric car since the Zoe supermini. It’s taller and a little bigger than a standard Megane and, for a while at least, will likely sell alongside the traditional hatch, probably eventually supplanting it. The E-Tech Electric sits on the CMF-EV platform developed by Renault and Alliance partner, Nissan. That same architecture underpins the new electric Nissan Ariya and will form the basis for the next-generation Nissan Leaf.
Despite being visually larger than the current Megane, partly thanks to its 20-inch wheels and batteries mounted under the floor, the E-Tech has about the same level of interior space with seating for five.
What will its rivals be?
It has got rivals aplenty, and this is turning into one of the most cut-throat sectors of the car market. The Volkswagen ID.4 crossover is currently Ireland’s best-selling electric car and is a natural rival for the Megane. Stiff competition too comes in the form of Korean cousins, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. When the Megane’s relative, the Nissan Ariya, arrives next April, that’ll provide yet another alternative.
Any tech info?
The interior has screens aplenty as the horizontal 12.3-inch digital instrument panel meets the vertical 12-inch infotainment screen in an L-shape. Both come with 4K definition meaning pin-sharp visuals.
There’s a whole raft of driver assistance tech including Active Driver Assist, providing the Megane with Level 2 autonomy, which, when used in combination with adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping Assist and Stop & Go technology, can help take the load off the driver, particularly on motorways. Using a system of cameras, radars and geolocation, it can, according to Renault, even handle the acceleration and deceleration required for navigating roundabouts.
Around town, Full Auto Park means that the Megane can basically park itself without any input from the driver beyond operating the accelerator. Rear Automatic Emergency Braking means that if a driver is reversing and the car’s systems spot, say, a pedestrian or a shopping trolley, it will automatically apply the brakes.
What will range be like?
Two battery options will be available from launch — a 40kWh module and a 60kWh unit, delivering 300km and 470km respectively. There’ll be two electric motor options delivering 130- and 218hp.
The Megane will be compatible with DC fast-charging up to 130kW meaning, potentially, 300km of mixed driving or 200km on the motorway from a 30-minute charge.
Renault is a big seller here and the fresh, modern-looking new Megane with its crossover stance should make a splash in its corner of the electric sector. Pre-orders open in February with the new Megane E-Tech Electric going on sale in March. There’s no word from Renault on pricing yet, but, based on the similarly-sized Renault Kadjar and taking an EV premium into account, expect prices starting from around €35,000.