When the electric Renault Zoe was launched three years ago Paddy Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Group Ireland, had a good idea to try and encourage motorists to at least think about an electric car.
Paddy suggested that when people leave their regular petrol or diesel cars into their local garage to be serviced, they should be given an electric vehicle as a courtesy car for a few hours.
That seemed a reasonable suggestion as ‘range anxiety’ wouldn’t bother drivers of petrol or diesel cars for half a day. But I don’t think the idea really took off.
Range anxiety and slow charging points. They seem to be the two major bugbears for motorists who are thinking about buying an electric car.
However, with the Green Party now in Government hopefully we will see a push for more charging points for electric vehicles around the country next year.
Renault Ireland has expanded their portfolio with the launch of a new hybrid range of popular models including the Captur PHEV, Clio Hybrid, Megane Sport Tourer PHEV and Megane hatch Phase 2.
The Captur PHEV gets a new 1.6-litre petrol-electric powertrain and a 9.8kWh battery drives two electric motors with a 50km range of zero emission driving claimed.
There is a new Pure mode especially for this model which allows for all-electric driving when the battery is fully charged. An E-Save function limits battery use and saves it for urban driving, for example.
Total power output is 160hp and they claim fuel consumption is as low as 1.5l/100km with 33g/km of CO2.
The new Clio hybrid has the same powertrain set-up as the Captur, 1.6-litre petrol engine, two electric motors, and has a clutchless automatic transmission.
They claim petrol consumption of 4.4l/100km and CO2 emissions of 98g/km. Renault say it can travel for some time on zero emissions at up to 60kmh in all-electric mode.
Meanwhile the Megane range gets a light facelift and the addition of a new plug-in hybrid which joins the Megane Sport Tourer range. It has TCe 140 and dCi 115 engines.
The PHEV version also has a 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors and clutch-less gearbox. The combined powertrain develops 160hp. Low (30g/km) CO2 and claimed 1.3 l/100km economy will attract attention from those thinking of switching to an ‘electrified’ car.
January prices, based on new VRT rates, include the Clio hybrid from €24,995, Captur PHEV from €34,695 with the Megane Sport Tourer PHEV from €34,990.
Renault say prices are before SEAI grants which, if applied at €5,000 for both plug-in hybrids, should reduce prices to under €30,000 for private customers.
The company is offering a number of incentives to promote their new electrified range, along with the new all-electric ZOE and electric LCV range.
Patrick Magee said: “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 CO2 levels.”