The Renault Megane E-Tech Plug-In Hybrid: The Complete Guide For India

Renault Megane Plug-In Hybrid Hatchback India
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 9.8 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 30 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 28g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Renault Megane PHEV Hatchback


Groupe Renault (Renault Group), is a leading player in the global automotive sector. Renault is now part of the global Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. The partnership makes these companies the 3rd largest automotive group in the world after Volkswagen and Toyota. Renault is headquartered in France.

Renault has been an early mover in the zero-emission electric driving sector and has established a leading position. The automotive manufacturer offers a number of well known battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), to include:

The Renault Megane family hatchback has been available since 1996. The concept version was unveiled in 2011. The hatchback is now in its fourth generation, which was unveiled in 2015. The small family car received a facelift in 2020, which also included the introduction of the Megane plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The Renault Megane PHEV is not class-leading, but for those keen on a more affordable entry into electric driving, it is an option worth considering.

Though the Megane electric car EV battery size is limited to 9.8 kWh, the EV is able to deliver a fuel-free zero-tailpipe emission range up to 30 miles (WLTP). Of course, do keep in mind that the real-world EV range will be lower than the claimed WLTP range, and assuming a 25 mile electric range is more realistic. However, ample range to take advantage of the lower cost of driving an electric car.

Also, the best way to enjoy the smoother and silent pure electric mode, is to make sure that the EV battery is ‘topped-up’ on a regular basis. This also helps with the long-term health and maintenance of the EV battery. The EV has a 3.6 kW onboard charger and is not capable of DC charging. This is quite typical of PHEVs, however, many plug-in electric cars offer a 7.4 kW onboard charger and are capable of rapid charging. The EV can be fully charged in 3 hours.

Like all PHEVs, the pairing of an electric motor with the internal combustion engine (ICE), also helps reduce the tailpipe-emissions for the plug-in electric car. The claimed tailpipe-emissions is up to 28g CO2/km. The lower the emissions, the lower the local air pollution. A win-win for all!

The hybrid drivetrain also improves the overall efficiency of the electric vehicle (EV). Renault claims a fuel economy up to 234 mpg. Of course, real-world fuel economy will be impacted by a number of factors, to include, the use of the e-mode i.e. the more the EV is driven on electric mode, the better the fuel economy.

The performance of the electric hatchback will not set the heart racing, but it does the job! The front-wheel drive Renault plug-in hybrid can achieve 0-62 mph in 9.4 seconds, with a top speed of 127 mph. The hybrid drivetrain delivers a maximum power of 160 HP (torque: 205 Nm), sufficient for city and motorway driving. Do keep in mind that the additional weight of the onboard EV battery does impact the overall performance of the vehicle (EV Kerb weight: 1,599 kg).

The EV does have a host of standard features and technology. However, the boot space has been impacted by the placement of the EV battery, nevertheless, the EV offers a cargo volume up to 250 L and an otherwise spacious interior. The PHEV is not available in India.


PROS CONS
Family friendly and practicalSmall EV battery (9.8 kWh) and limited range
Affordable hatchback PHEVCabin interior has room for improvement
Cheap to drive on electric modeSluggish infotainment system

Gallery


The Renault Megane PHEV (credit: Renault)


One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle (EV), is that, it is cheaper to drive, compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol and diesel vehicles. For many years, we have witnessed a significant increase in prices at petrol pumps across India. However, this is not an ‘India’ only trend, but a global trend. We can continue to expect an inflation in global petrol and diesel prices for the foreseeable future.

Both, a pure electric car and a plug-in hybrid electric car, offer significant savings on driving costs per mile, when driven on zero-tailpipe emission electric mode. In India, filling a petrol or diesel car can cost anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. As an example, the very popular Audi Q7 diesel SUV has a fuel capacity of 85 litres. Assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 90, the cost of filling a full tank will be up to Rs 7,650!

In comparison, the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV , which is now available in India, and a similar size to the Audi Q7, can be fully recharged for less than Rs 1,000. Put another way, charging the Audi electric SUV, can save up to 85% compared to filling a full tank of fuel (in India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh).

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant! The sooner you switch to green cars, the sooner you can start saving money. That is simply the bottom-line!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:Hatchback
Engines:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (2 Options)
Iconic
R.S. Line

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 9.8 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:28g (CO2/km)
Battery Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1445
Width (mm):1814
Length (mm):4359
Wheelbase (mm):2670
Turning Circle (m):11.2
Boot capacity (L):250

E-TECH Plug-In Hybrid 160 Auto
EV Battery Capacity:9.8 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):30 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):N/A
Fuel Consumption (MPG):234.0
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs)
Top Speed:127 mph
0-62 mph:9.4 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (HP):160
Torque (Nm):205
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg):1,599
Colours:7
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Pure Electric Cars Available In India


For most of us in India, recognising an electric car on our roads will be a challenge. Compared to the more matured EV markets, like China and Europe, the availability of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in India is still limited. Having said that, the leading automotive manufacturers in India, like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, have demonstrated leadership in the development and introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, to include, the Tata Nexon EV and the Mahindra eVerito. Tata announced recently it had increased its sale of EVs in India by a whopping 353% in FY22 compared to FY21. Tata sold 19,106 EVs in FY22.

India currently has up to 20 pure electric cars on sale, ranging from Rs 11.99 to Rs 2.05 Crore. Leading international automotive brands like Audi AG, BMW AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mercedes-Benz, MG Motors, Porsche AG & the Volvo Group have introduced plug-in pure electric cars in India. We can expect many more international automotive companies to follow suit, to include, the famed EV manufacturer, Tesla Inc. In fact, Elon Musk has already made public his intentions to sell Tesla electric cars in India.

For the successful development of the electric driving market, the deployment of widespread EV charging infrastructure is a prerequisite, to include, charging at home and public EV charging stations. In India, electric car charging infrastructure is still at very nascent stages. The total number of public charge points in India are currently a mere 1,742. EV chargers installed at homes is also at a nascent stage.

Lastly, the introduction of cheaper electric cars with longer ranges is vital in building confidence with potential buyers to migrate to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars. EVs at a price point below Rs 20 Lakhs will be key in spurring growth in the Indian EV market. Below is a list of BEVs currently available in India.


EV Type Of EV Price
Audi e-tronBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.00 Crore
Audi RS e-tron GTBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 2.05 Crore
Audi e-tron SportbackBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.19 Crore
Audi e-tron GTBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.8 Crore
BMW iX Electric SAVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.16 Crore
Hyundai Kona ElectricBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 23.79 Lakhs
Jaguar I-PACEBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.05 Crore
Mercedes-Benz EQCBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.06 Crore
MG ZS EVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 21.49 Lakhs
Porsche TaycanBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs. 1.5 Crore
Porsche Cayenne E Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)Rs 1.58 Crore
Tata Tigor EVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 11.99 Lakhs
Tata Nexon Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 14.24 Lakhs
Volvo XC90Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)Rs 95 Lakhs



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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