Renault Australia has confirmed its Megane E-Tech Electric isn’t coming here until next year.
It will appear in the first quarter of 2024, like the Kangoo range – including its E-Tech Electric variant.
Renault Australia confirmed in May 2022 the new electric hatchback would come here late in 2023, and that’s been the official word ever since.
It has now shifted launch timing to early next year, a slight delay it attributes to problems obtaining supply due to demand from larger markets.
Australians will therefore have been waiting almost two years for the new electric hatch, which went on sale in Europe early in 2022. That’s still shorter than the delay for combustion-powered Kangoo vans, which entered production all the way back in 2020.
Renault has said the Megane E-Tech Electric will be priced in the early/mid-$70,000s range, putting it up against the likes of the larger Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 and well above the base price of the hot-selling Tesla Model 3 – not to mention new Chinese models like the similarly sized MG 4.
The French brand will sell the vehicle through its 58 dealers, rather than offering it only online, but has acknowledged it won’t be cheap.
“That notion that EVs will get cheaper I just haven’t seen it yet, at all,” Renault Australia boss Glen Sealey told CarExpert in February.
The Megane E-Tech Electric was recently approved for sale locally by the Australian Government, with documents listing two variants: the Techno and Iconic.
Only one powertrain was listed, with 160kW of power and 300Nm of torque. The official 0-100km/h claim for this powertrain is 7.2 seconds.
It’s powered by a 60kWh battery, with a claimed 470km of range under the stricter WLTP test cycle.
There’s no mention in the documents of the smaller 40kWh battery or 96kW/250Nm entry-level powertrain offered in Europe.
The Megane E-Tech Electric model expected to hit Australia supports DC fast charging at up to 130kW, and AC charging at up to 7.4kW.
The listed braked towing capacity is 900kg, with an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg, while the Megane E-Tech Electric’s tare mass is 1642kg. The documents also list a choice of 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels.
The electric hatchback measures 4200mm long, 1768mm wide, 1500mm tall and rides a 2685mm wheelbase, making it similar in size to the MG 4 and the Cupra Born.
Under the skin is the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform, shared with the Nissan Ariya.
Inside, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.0-inch vertical touchscreen.
Built around Google’s Android Automotive, the infotainment system is called OpenR Link. It can be updated over-the-air, and supports the sort of gestures familiar to iPhone or Android phone users.
It has a full suite of Google apps including Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant, but also features Apple CarPlay.
Depending on the variant there are various upholstery trims available for the European market including a choice of textile, Alcantara, and faux leather upholstery.
In entry-level and mid-spec cars overseas, the seat upholstery is made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
Safety technology includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring.
The Megane E-Tech was first revealed at the Munich Motor Show in 2021, and went on sale in Europe early in 2022.
It won’t be the first EV from the French brand in Australia, as Renault has previously offered the Zoe and Kangoo Z.E.
The latter is being replaced by the Kangoo E-Tech Electric, which entered production last year.
It features a 90kW and 245Nm electric motor driven by a 45kWh lithium-ion battery pack capable of 80kW max DC charging, with 170km of range added in 30 minutes.
The battery takes just under four hours to go from 15 per cent to 100 per cent charge when plugged into a 11kW wallbox, and “less than 6 hours” on a cheaper 7.4kW AC wallbox.
The WLTP driving range is a claimed 300km, more than ideal for “last mile” couriers and freight operators. It also has three levels of regenerative braking force: ‘sailing’, default, and ‘maximum’ for added energy recuperation.
Renault also says it has a 615kg payload and braked towing capacity of 1500kg.