The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is the French manufacturer's electric renaissance car. In fact, the automaker was among the first to explore the opportunities offered by zero-emission mobility with a fairly articulated range of entirely battery-powered cars (and even commercial vehicles) more than 10 years ago.

The Zoe is perhaps the clearest example of this - let's call it - first phase which, perhaps because it arrived a little ahead of its time, then slowly faded away.

With the ecological transition underway, however, Renault has returned decisively to pure electric. Under Luca De Meo's leadership, we will see some good things (hopefully in every sense of the word): Renault 5, Renault 4, Twingo. All historical names ready for a battery-powered rebirth. For now, the brand's electric car par excellence is the Megane (again, a name that is now 29 years old). Arriving in 2021, it is very different from the Megane we have been used to from 1995 onwards, and not only in terms of powertrain.

Platform and dimensions

The Megane E-Tech Electric is, first and foremost, a crossover. Anticipated by the Megane eVision concept, it introduces a series of styling elements that have been carried over to other models. Looks aside, the car is built on the same platform as the Nissan Ariya: it is called CMF-EV (Common Module Family for Electric Vehicles), has 400 Volt architecture and, as the name suggests, is designed from the start for electric cars only.

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric: Die Batterie

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric: the CMF-EV platform

This choice offers a number of structural advantages: the possibility of an ideal arrangement of the battery, which is located centrally under the floor, and the other mechanical components, a more generous wheelbase and also greater efficiency. Specifically, the electric Megane is 4.21 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, 1.51 metres high and has a wheelbase of 2.7 metres, with wheels very close to the corners and reduced overhangs.

Initially available with two battery sizes, 40 or 60 kWh, it is now listed with only the larger battery. At the moment there is only front-wheel drive (FWD) available with a weight of 1,712 kilograms.

  • Length: 4.21 metres
  • Width: 1.8 metres
  • Height: 1.51 metres
  • Wheelbase: 2.7 metres
  • Weight: 1,712 kg (FWD)
Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)

The luggage compartment of the electric Megane: with the seats down there is a noticeable step

Space on board

Inside, the electric Renault Megane offers plenty of space for all occupants and the presence of a completely flat floor (the 'electric only' nature of the platform is evident here) means that even those sitting in the middle seat at the back can travel without excessive sacrifice. The boot is not exaggerated in capacity, but boasts regular shapes and good trim. It offers a load volume of 389 litres, which becomes 1,245 litres when the rear seats are folded down (the only pity is the obvious step).

It does not have a double bottom, but allows charging cables to be stored in a small compartment under the load floor. Good thing, because the car has no space under the front bonnet. Instead of the frunk, the designers preferred to group electronic control units and other components in that area.

  • Luggage compartment: 389-1,245
  • Frunk: n.a.
Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric: where to store charging cables

Software

In terms of infotainment, the electric Renault Megane is equipped with the openR link system with integrated Google and 'Hey Google' voice assistant. It has specific functions dedicated to electric driving and makes it possible, for example, to set a destination, calculate best route and if it is necessary to stop for charging and, once the route has been established, to pre-condition the battery temperature to optimise charging operations once you have arrived at the charging station.

The software can be updated remotely via FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) technology, which allows the latest version of the car's on-board system to be uploaded and installed without going to the workshop. Just like on a normal mobile phone, all you have to do is connect to the Internet to stay up-to-date. Software updates, however, are currently limited to the infotelematics system and do not concern powertrain management.

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)

Battery and autonomy

When the electric Renault Megane came on the market, it set a small record: it was equipped with the world's thinnest electric car battery. Only 11 centimetres. Manufactured by LG Energy Solution, it has traditional nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry and a net capacity of 60 kWh (gross is 62.64) and a weight of 395 kg. Compared to the battery found on the last Zoe, it gains 20 per cent more density (600 Wh/l).

Consisting of 12 modules of 24 cells each, it is 1.96 metres long, 1.45 metres wide and, as mentioned, only 11 centimetres high. It is equipped with an unprecedented liquid cooling system that is only 1.8 centimetres high and, thanks to the use of extruded aluminium tubes, allows better integration of the battery within the platform.

Batteria Renault Megane E-Tech Electric

The battery of the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric

On the front-wheel drive version, which has 130 PS and 250 Nm of torque, it guarantees a range of 292 miles (470 km). On the four-wheel drive version, which has 220 PS and 300 Nm, it promises to cover between 265 and 284 miles (427 and 457 km) on a single charge depending on the set-up. Speaking of consumption, the homologated values in the WLTP cycle say 15.4 kWh/100 km for the less powerful version and 15.8-16.3 kWh/100 km for the more powerful one. Since last summer, the car has been equipped with a heat pump as standard on all versions.

  Megane 130cv comfort range Megane 220cv comfort range
Battery 60 kWh (62.64 kWh gross) 60 kWh (62.64 kWh gross)
Traction front front
Max power 130 PS 220 PS
Max. torque 250 Nm 300 Nm
0-62 mph 10.5 7.4
Max. speed 99 mph 99 mph
Range (WLTP) 292 miles 265 and 284 miles
Average consumption (WLTP) 15.4 kW/100 km 15.4-16.3 kW/100 km

Charging

This Renault-branded electric goes from 15% to 80% in 36 minutes, provided the car is plugged into a fast charging station. Using direct current (DC), the car reaches a maximum power output of 130 kW. In alternating current (AC), on the other hand, it can reach 7 or 22 kW depending on the version chosen. In the later case, attached to a domestic wallbox, it takes 1 hour and 50 minutes to go from 15% to 80%; in the prior case 6 hours and 1 minute. All cables are included at the time of purchase.

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)

The car does not have bi-directional charging. However, this solution is compatible with the model, as it is offered on its almond-eyed cousin the Nissan Ariya. Speaking of public recharging, the electric Megane gives access to Mobilize services including the Mobilize charge pass that allows access to 260,000 recharging stations across Europe and payment via smartphone without any subscription.

As a recharger

Version  AC charging (15% to 80%) DC recharging (15% to 80%)
130 PS comfort range AC7 6 hours and 1 minute (7 kW) 36 minutes (130 kW)
130 PS comfort range AC22 1 hour and 50 minutes (22 kW) 36 minutes (130 kW)
220 PS comfort range AC7 6 hours and 1 minute (7 kW) 36 minutes (130 kW)
220 PS comfort range AC22 1 hour and 50 minutes (22 kW) 36 minutes (130 kW)

Price

In the UK the Megane E-Tech Electric is on sale at a starting price of £34,495. At this figure, the front-wheel drive version with 220 PS and 22 kW is the only powertrain available via three trim levels: equilibre, techno+ and iconic. The later two trims are priced at £36,495 and £38,495 and include 20-inch wheels and heat pump.

Gallery: Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)