Across the event, Renault has taken the opportunity to bang the drum of its future green credentials. Aside from the announcements of new cars and powertrains, the brand has set down targets for reducing its carbon footprint.
By 2030, Renault is aiming to have reduced its CO2 emissions by 50 per cent compared to 2010, with a net zero CO2 impact by 2050. By 2022, all new models will have an electric, or electrified version available and by 2025, the company is targeting 50 per cent of its sales being either fully electric or hybrid.
None of these targets are particularly strong, but they are broadly in-line with other major European brands. But enough about corporate ambitions; what of the cars?
An electric Renault Mégane makes a lot of sense in Europe. As one of the brand's most established and popular models, launching an electric version makes going EV less of a reach for consumers than buying an EV-specific model such as the ZOE.
The Mégane eVision is based on the modular CMF-EV platform, which is underpinning the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance's next generation of EVs. It isn't just a concept with no chance of making production, either. Renault is promising the Mégane eVision for the UK in 2022.
Going on the car's statistics alone, the Mégane eVision stacks up nicely. At 4210mm long and 1800mm wide, with a 270mm wheelbase, its C-segment size, but thanks to the thinnest battery on the market, it should benefit from a more spacious interior. The electric motor is the most powerful in Renault's range and is good for 217bhp alongside 221lb-ft of torque sent through the front wheels. At a comparatively light 1650kg, combined with a shorter steering ratio and multi-arm rear suspension, it could be fun to drive.
Battery-wise, Renault is going for 60kWh at the standard 400V, with AC charging at up to 22kW and DC at up to 130kW, at which speed the Mégane eVision should charge in around 30 minutes.
To look at, the eVision concept is fairly conventional and recognisably a Mégane – and that isn't a criticism by any stretch of the imagination. It takes styling details from the Renault MORPHOZ concept, predominantly around softer lines and aerodynamic features. 20 inch wheels, short overhangs and standing at a tall 1505mm mean there's enough of a hint of SUV styling to cater for the unfailing lust for the things across the continent.
Inside, the Mégane eVision showcases what Renault calls its LIVINGTECH 'technological ecosystem', which is “an intuitive and smart interior environment that focuses on interacting with the passengers and catering to their needs and usage”. Details like a lighting sequence before entering the car and pop-out door handles add a bit of interactivity, whilst inside majors on lighting and a large, sleek LIVINGSCREEN interface.
We look forward to seeing the production version progress!
Renault has offered the E-TECH PHEV powertrain in the Mégane Sport Tourer and CAPTUR for some time now. We've driven both and thought they were worthy entries – and options – in the PHEV market. Now, the E-TECH powertrain is coming to the Mégane hatch range.
This means a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor with a combined 160bhp and 151lb-ft, alongside a 9.9kWh battery which offers a maximum range of 30 miles. As we found in the Sport Tourer, this is good for ranges of just over 22 miles in normal driving, so perfect for pottering around town or taking the kids to school, but not quite equalling the range of some rivals.
We're more than a tad disappointed to find out that the Dacia Spring EV – the brand's first EV – isn't coming to the UK. Truth be told, we've been aware that Renault weren't going to offer it for sale over here for some time now, but it's still a shame – and potentially a missed opportunity given how well low-priced EVs like those from MG are selling.
Under the skin, the Spring gets a tiny 26.8kWh battery powering a motor with just 44bhp, but still offering around 140 miles of range, at up to 78mph. It'll charge in under an hour at a comparatively slow 30kW.
Of course, the Dacia Spring is purely a city car, but we reckon there's a ready-and-waiting market for it here, should Dacia's French overlords change their minds. However, we reckon that the car's biggest selling point – its planned price tag as the cheapest EV city car in Europe – simply wouldn't be achievable by tooling up for right-hand drive variants.