REVIEW: Renault Megane E-Tech

Last week Professor Thorne from Maynooth University said people needed to install solar panels, take public transport, switch to EVs, cut down on meat and review their long-distance travel.

Speaking at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Switzerland, the Maynooth-based professor said: “The number of 2023 cars that I see on the road that are big SUVs and are using petrol or diesel is alarming and shows a complete lack of understanding by many citizens as to the consequences of their personal decisions.”

Irish motorists who are thinking about switching to electric cars are still waiting for all these electric charge points that we have been promised. Apparently, there can often be issues regarding planning permission for charge stations at various locations around the country. Nimby. So, the wait goes on.

Meanwhile the motoring industry is producing several new electric models to whet the appetite of the Irish motorists and last week I drove Renault’s new Megane E-Tech, which is one of the first truly mainstream cars to go completely electric.

Externally it certainly has that SUV look, but inside it’s similar to the regular Megane, but even more stylish. You get a 12-inch display on the dash and also a nine-inch multimedia screen.

The dash is really attractive as it’s topped off with attractive grey material, while the inside of the doors get Alcantara suede-like panels. The controls are all user friendly.

Externally it might look like an SUV but when you sit in there is definitely more of a hatchback feel. The grey-coloured seats are gorgeous with green stitching. The boot is a decent size, but as usual with electric cars no spare wheel is provided.

As with most electric cars the door handles pop out when you unlock the car. In the Megane, the rear doors are so discreet you would be forgiven for thinking it’s a two-door car. With all new Renault cars, they lock when you walk away from them and open once you come close, assuming the key fob is on your person or in your handbag.

The pictures you see on this page are of a red version of the Megane E-Tech, but my test car came in a very attractive Midnight Blue with diamond black roof.

Prices for the Megane E-Tech start at €37,495 for EV40 versions and €45,295 for the longer-range EV60. Three trim levels are available: Equilibre, Techno and a range-topping Launch Edition available exclusively with the EV60 powertrain.

The E-Tech can accept a rapid DC charge at speeds of up to 130kW, which means you can add up to 300km of driving range in just 30 minutes. The approx. range for the small battery is 300km, while you should get close to 450km with the larger battery.

The steering is really light and it’s so quiet on the road you could probably do with a bell to warn pedestrians of your arrival.

So, the message seems clear from the United Nations body the IPCC; we need to go electric to save our beautiful planet.

Back in 1969 an American duo group called Zager and Evans had number one hit with a song titled ‘In the Year 2525’. The opening lines of the song were: “In the year 2525 if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find…” Check it out the words of the song on Wikipedia, some of the lines are prophetic, e.g. “I’m kind of wondering if man is gonna be alive. He has taken everything this old earth can give and he ain’t put back nothing.”