Renault has launched three new low emission hybrid models to the Irish market today. Renault is a leader in electric vehicles both here in Ireland and in Europe with over 337,000 EV sales to date. The Renault Zoe alone has sold over 250,000 units! The French firm’s cars and LCV sales in Ireland to date for 2020 stand at 845 and this leads Tesla, Hyundai, Nissan, KIA and VW with 502. In the last five years hybrid and EV sales have grown from 1.7% to 19.7%.
Today sees the online launch of three hybrid models lunch under the E-Tech banner. The Clio E-Tech Hybrid, the Captur E-Tech plug-in hybrid and the Megane Sports Tourer E-Tech plug-in hybrid. At the core of the three cars is a 1.6 litre 16 valve petrol engine. The hybrid gets an additional electric motor and a modest 1.2 kWh rechargeable (by the engine) battery – while the plug-in hybrids get a larger 9.8kWh rechargeable battery that has a type 2 plug socket to allow plug-in charging.
The Clio E-Tech Hybrid starts from €24,995, the Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid starts from €29,695 and finally the Megane Sport Tourer (estate) E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid starts at €29,995. The Megane E-Tech initially comes as an estate or Sports Tourer with a hatch to follow. Pricing will be just below the diesel version. Compared to the standard/entry level versions these new E-Tech models are relatively expensive but the savings during the ownership period on fuel and emissions can be made up and they are very well equipped also. Buyers will still have to find the money in the first place but Renault has said it has ring-fenced €2m to assist EV/Hybrid purchase in Ireland next year. (overall €60m has been set aside by Renault Group specifically for EV purchase financing.)
As you may know hybrids and PHEVs all use an automatic gearbox to deliver power to the wheels so it is a given that these E-Tech versions will be super smooth to use. The initial moving off is done in electric mode and smooth momentum is maintained thanks to the E-Tech’s clutch-less transmission.
An ‘EV mode’ features and this ability to select zero emissions is important as many hybrids don’t allow this. Often a hybrid’s engine will kick-in at inappropriate times e.g. when you’re trying to quietly leave the house early in the morning. (Renault Ireland is not a fan of the phrase ‘self-charging hybrid’ and neither are we!)
The Clio supermini in E-Tech hybrid form is a conventional hybrid and not a plug-in – it is however still a very efficient car. Power is impressive for its size with 140hp going to the front wheels. Emissions fall below the 100g mark at 99g/km CO/2 and its fuel consumption is a diesel-like 4.4 litres per 100km. The battery pack used is a modest 1.2kWh and this allows electric only travel of up to 2km.
The taller Clio-based Captur SUV Crossover E-Tech has 160hp and produces an ultra low 34g/km of CO2. Its average fuel consumption is a mere 1.5L/100km. The rechargeable battery pack is 9.8kWh in size and this allows up to 50km of electric only aka zero-emission power.
The Megane E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid has the same output as the Captur at 160hp but due to its lower profile produces less CO2 at 30g/km. It has a combined average fuel consumption figure of 1.3 litres per 100km or 217mpg! The rechargeable battery pack is the same 9.8kWh unit and delivers up to 50km of EV driving. Two electric motors feature in the E-Tech plug-in hybrids.
The fuel and emissions maths was shown to us for a variety of mileages and usage and all of the figures delivered impressive savings and efficiencies. One chart showed us that in the Megane for example – even when you run out of charge and it is running on its petrol engine alone it produces modest emissions at 128g/km CO2.
Renault says it has delivered a very efficient range with its new E-Tech models. They offer accessible value for money combined with a smooth ease of use. Interesting customer offers on Renault’s electrified range are available on its website.
Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Group Ireland:
“Despite with happens with Government grant funding for electric vehicles for 2021, we are serious about providing our own grant through our €1,000 Green Grant Offer and our Bank has committed to €60 million to finance cars from our electrified range. We have to push this along and reduce the older car park in this country and move towards getting more hybrids and fully electric vehicles on the road and helping to reduce C02 levels”. We look forward to reviewing all three versions here soon.
In general news Renault revealed its brilliant Zoe van pricing – after grants the little EV starts from €30,117. Renault Ireland boss Paddy Magee pointed out some interesting facts about this year. 2020 has seen an increase in the amount of cash deposits that buyers are putting down – this is due to people having more cash in hand due to how restrictions have forced less discretionary spending e.g. holidays etc. He went on to say retail and fleet orders are strong despite the doom and gloom of 2020 – the only real death has been in the hire drive market that is powered by tourism. He predicts in excess of the 100,000 car sales predicted by the industry for Ireland next year.