Launched at the start the Munich Motor Show this week, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric debuts as the French automaker’s second fully electric model after the Zoe.
Here, the EV Megane is built upon the CMF-EV platform that also underpins the Nissan Ariya. The Megane E-Tech Electric measures 4.21 m long with a wheelbase of 2.7 m and 1.5 m tall. The Megane E-Tech Electric adopts a new ‘sensual-tech’ design language inside and out, according to Renault, and its lighting units in particular feature laser-cut enclosures to emphasise modernity.
In front, the LED daytime running lamp strips on each side are joined by another LED unit that leads to the side vents along the outer edge of each headlamp. Meanwhile, the tail lamp housings feature laser-cut micro-optic fibres in a criss-cross layout for a 3D effect to imply a vibrating effect.
Headlamps on the Megane E-Tech Electric employ adaptive-function reflective panels, which alternates between high beam and low beam automatically and no longer requires manual selection from the driver. This enables the use of wider beams of light on urban road for a wider view, or for a slimmer, longer beam on open roads and highways in order for its driver to see further without blinding oncoming traffic.
Automatic, recessed door handles are standard across all versions of the Megane E-Tech Electric, which deploy when the vehicle is unlocked or when its driver or passenger its detected to be approaching. Once its occupants are on board, the welcome sequence concludes with a new Renault audio cue, along with an ambient lighting sequence.
Interior space in the Megane E-Tech Electric is comparable to that of the internal combustion Megane, albeit with more rear passenger knee room at 21 cm, says Renault. The added wheelbase relative to the internal combustion car aids overall spaciousness in the in the E-Tech Electric, while a more pared-back dashboard and a flatter cabin floor is possible thanks to the lack of engine and driveshafts.
The sustainability theme in the Megane E-Tech Electric continues with the use of recycled materials, while Renault designers aimed to go beyond offering more commonly used materials such as plastic and colours such as black for the cabin of the new EV.
Mid-level trim versions of the E-Tech Electric will get a textile finish for the top of the dashboard, while the premium trim level gets a synthetic leather material dubbed TEP. The dashboard contour and door panel uppers feature Alcantara on mid-level trim variants, while the premium variant gets a wood finish in these areas.
The Megane E-Tech Electric comes in two battery and powertrain specifications – a 40 kWh pack and a 60 kWh pack, the 40 kWh unit providing range of up to 300 km, while the larger of the two offers up to 470 km of range on a full charge based on the WLTP test cycle.
These batteries are offered with an eight-year guarantee, says Renault, and will replace them free of charge if they deteriorate to less than 70% nominal capacity within that period. These supply a range of two motor specifications; an electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) setup is available in 130 hp/250 Nm and 218 hp/300 Nm forms, the latter propelling the Megane E-Tech Electric from 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds, while top speed is 160 km/h.
Battery life is optimised by intelligent battery cooling and cabin heating management, where a new-generation heat pump improves battery performance by 30%, or by lowering temperature by 10 degrees Celsius. Energy lost by the batteries and powertrain through heat is reused to heat the cabin when required, and this has been made possible through a new liquid-cooling system for both batteries and powertrain.
The Megane E-Tech Electric is compatible with charging via several charging rates, starting with 10-amp/2.3 kW single-phase and 16-amp/3.7 kW single-phase sockets. Next is the 32-amp/7.4 kW single-phase wallbox and the 16-amp/11 kW single-phase public charging outlet, as well as the 32-amp/22 kW three-phase public outlet. Selected versions of the E-Tech Electric are also compatible with DC charging up to 130 kW.
In terms of battery range over charging times, Renault says this will yield up to 400 km of mixed driving through eight hours of charging with a 7.4 kW wallbox, up to 160 km of urban driving through one hour of charging at a 22 kW public charging outlet, 200 km of highway driving from 30 minutes’ charging at a 130 kW fast charger and up to 300 km WLTP in 30 minutes of charging at a 130 kW fast charger.
The safety structure of the Megane E-Tech Electric features cross bars and crash boxes around the battery that combine with the CMF-EV platform, in addition to aluminium pipes of the liquid cooling system which together help make the battery safer, says Renault.
A partnership between Renault and French firefighters of more than 10 years has also brought the innovation that is the Fireman Access, so named as it enables firefighters to quickly access the drive battery in the event of a battery fire in an electric vehicle.
This means that the fire can be extinguished in five minutes rather than the one to three hours it would otherwise take, says Renault, and this is joined by a switch located under the rear seat bench that enables the responding crew to disconnect the vehicle’s battery from its high-voltage circuit.
For active safety, there are a total of 26 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in the Megane E-Tech Electric. Active Driver Assist combines Stop & Go with Lane Keeping Assist, the latter now capable in the E-Tech Electric of functioning properly when one of the markings on the road side are not present, such as along country roads.
This is joined by the Smart Speed Limiter that draws data from road signs as well as navigation data, which the driver can adapt the vehicle’s speed limiter, cruise control or adaptive cruise control towards. This can also take place automatically in the event of rain.
Additional ADAS functions include lane departure warning, blind spot warning and lane keeping assist, now incorporating emergency lane keeping assist (ELKA). This operates between 65 km/h and 160 km/h, and combines information from the vehicle’s front camera and side radar to automatically re-centre the vehicle in the event it detects a risk of a side collisions, and between 65-110 km/h where it can detect a possible head-on collision.
Further active safety features include rear AEB when reversing between 3-10 km/h, Occupant Safe Exit (OSE) to warn against open the vehicle door into the path of an oncoming car, motorcycle or cyclist, Around View Monitor 3D for a 360-degree view around the vehicle, Full Auto Park that enables one-pedal operation for assisted parking, and a smart rear view mirror that augments the driver’s side mirror view with a rear camera feed.
For infotainment, featuring front and centre in the Megane E-Tech Electric cabin is the OpenR screen ensemble, comprised of the 12.3-inch driver instrumentation screen and the 12-inch portrait-oriented infotainment screen in an inverted-L layout for the top trim level versions; entry level kit is comprised of a nine-inch instrumentation screen.
Based on the third-generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform with multiple display options and USB-C connectivity, the OpenR screen is made of reinforced glass for a robust finish and to be more pleasant to the touch, while an anti-reflection coat on the screen ensures good visibility even under bright sunlight, says Renault.
This also enables a cleaner design for the display cluster, as the shade traditionally employed on dashboards is no longer required.
Here, the OpenR Link multimedia system features built-in Google functions, with apps and services including Google Assistant, Google Maps and other from the Google Play app service. This is in order provide a user experience like that of a smartphone or tablet that is always up to date, Renault said.
Also like Android smartphones, the OpenR Link system supports “many applications” that are developed by third-party developers on Google Play, says Renault. The touchscreen can be operated like that of a smartphone or tablet, such as with short and long taps, as well as pinch and zoom operations.
Further customisation can be applied to personal profiles for vehicle settings, Google account and My Renault account preferences, and more. Despite the Android/Google majority focus, the OpenR Link also supports Apple CarPlay for iPhones, and both mobile systems can be connected wirelessly or via cable.
At market launch, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric will be made available in six exterior colours – Rafale Grey, Schist Grey, Midnight Blue, Flame Red, Diamond Black and Glacier White. A two-tone finish can be specified on selected trim levels, where the roof, pillars and side mirror guards can be finished in Schist Grey, Diamond Black or Glacier White for a total of 30 possible colour combinations.
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