Built in Douai in Northern France, where the aim is to produce 400,000 EVs per year, the Peugeot e-2008 rival features a skateboard-style battery arrangement and is the first Renault to run on the Alliance's CMF-EV platform, following the Nissan Ariya.
The brand is hoping to build on the electric success it has enjoyed with the Zoe: since that car was launched a decade ago, one in five Renaults sold in Europe has been electric.
The E-Tech comes with a choice of two power outputs for the electric motor (128bhp and 215bhp) and two battery sizes (40kWh and 60kWh). Claimed range is 186 and 292 miles respectively, while the quickest variant will manage 0-62mph in 7.4sec.
With the optional 130kW DC charging, it’s possible to charge the battery from 15-80% in 30 minutes. Towing up to 900kg is also possible.
With a multi-link rear axle, a MacPherson-strut front arrangement and a faster steering rack, the Mégane E-Tech Electric promises best-in-class handling.
Weight-saving measures have been applied across the car. At 1624kg (for the biggest battery variant), it’s at the lower end of the weight spectrum in its class, thanks to aluminium doors and an electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) that’s 10% lighter than that of the Zoe. An eight-pole arrangement in the motor also uses 45% less copper.
Weight is also part of the reason why Renault made the Mégane E-Tech Electric front-wheel-drive. Without having to run cabling and cooling to the rear, the French firm argues it has managed to shave vital kilograms from the car.