Renault Presents its ‘Generation 2.0’ BEV

Not to let the German automakers steal all the limelight at the IAA Munich International Motor Show, Renault has unveiled what it claims is its ‘Generation 2.0’ of BEVs.

The new Mégane E-Tech Electric is the first of its vehicles to come from its Renaulution strategy that hopes to see the automaker lead the energy transition race. Inspired by the MORPHOZ concept car in 2019 then heralded by the Mégane eVision show car in 2020, the latest model boasts much of the styling cues of the two concepts and is based on the Alliance-developed CMF-EV platform. It is also the first model to be 100% ‘Made in ElectriCity’, Renault’s new industrial hub for EV vehicles located in the North of France.

Its powertrain features a new motor delivering three power options from 126bhp and 184ft-lbs of torque to up to 214bhp with 221ft-lbs of torque and four levels of regenerative braking. Known more specifically as the electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM), it claims better power output compared to permanent magnet motors and doesn’t require rare earth metals, thereby reducing the environmental impact and cost of large-scale production.

The motor is compact and weighs 319lbs, about 10% less than the motor currently used on Zoe, despite a marked increase in both power and torque. Its high power version claims a sprint time from 0 to 62mph in 7.4 seconds.

The Mégane E-Tech Electric comes with a choice of two battery capacities: 40kWh for a range of 186 miles (WLTP cycle), and 60kWh for a range of up to 292 miles (WLTP cycle, depending on model). The 40-kWh battery is made of 8 modules of 24 cells each, distributed over a single layer. The 60-kWh battery consists of 12 modules of 24 cells each, spread over two layers. In both cases, the battery’s dimensions remain unchanged, including the record height of 110mm (1960mm length and 1450mm width). They come with an 8-year guarantee, during which they will be replaced free of charge should they deteriorate to less than 70% of their nominal capacity.

The car is available with multiple charging solutions, and is compatible with all AC charging infrastructure: Domestic socket 10A/2.3kW (single-phase); Green’up Socket 16A/3.7kW (single-phase); Wallbox 32A/7.4kW (single-phase); Public charging station 16A/11kW (single-phase); Public charging station 32A/22kW (triple-phase). Depending on the version, it can also be compatible with DC chargers up to 130kW (combo sockets), such as fast charging stations on motorways.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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