Highly-rated electric Megane is being tested and validated in Australia six to nine months ahead of the French EV’s local launch
There is at least one example of the new Renault Megane E-tech electric SUV in Australia for testing work, local distributor Ateco has confirmed to Chasing Cars.
That news came on the heels of an eagle-eyed Chasing Cars reader snapping pictures of the left-hand-drive electric Megane on the central coast of New South Wales.
Speaking with Chasing Cars today, Ateco public relations consultant Oliver Peagam said the EV’s Australian release date was firming for “a local launch around Q3 2023” – or between July and September 2023.
Built in France, the Renault Megane E-tech is a small SUV with raised hatchback-like proportions. At just 4199mm in length, its size sits between a Volkswagen Polo and Golf – it really isn’t huge.
However, the five-seat vehicle is said to have generous interior space, with the Megane atop Renault’s bespoke EV platform CMF-EV – an architecture shared with the Nissan Ariya that is still under consideration for Australia.
The electric Megane E-tech picks up the baton from the petrol-powered Megane hatchback, which departed Australian shores when the last remaining variant – the hot RS model ($63K) – was discontinued this year.
Between 2017-2019, Renault sold its Zoe EV city car in Australia, with a final price of $49,490 before on-road costs.
The French brand will also relaunch the Kangoo E-tech EV locally in 2023, though the outgoing generation of the electric van is officially sold in long-wheelbase form in Australia upon request, with a price of $50,390 before on-road costs.
Compared to other EVs, the electric Megane’s secret weapon may be its relatively light weight. At 1575-1650kg, even high-spec versions of the Renault are a staggering 350kg lighter than the new Cupra Born – and more than 100kg shy of a Tesla Model 3.
Renault appears to have managed this feat by keeping the Megane E-tech’s battery relatively small and working hard on developing the energy efficiency of the crossover.
Two battery sizes are available in Europe, though we’d expect the larger of the pair to be the sole offer in Australia when the front-wheel-drive (FWD) Megane E-tech is released in Q3 2023.
Overseas, there are three distinct versions of the Megane E-tech, with different battery sizes, power outputs and ranges. All of them are FWD, with no dual-motor AWD version currently on the horizon – though the CMF-EV platform does support it:
Our educated guess is that Renault would seek to launch with the 55kWh/160km version in Australia.
Charging speeds are limited to 85kW DC for the small battery, though the 55kWh battery supports decently quick public charging speeds of up to 129kW DC.
It’s too soon to conclusively say how much the 2023 Megane E-tech will cost when it reaches Australia, but we can take an educated guess.
The Megane E-tech’s competitive set is now starting to settle in Australia:
|Polestar 2 std. range
|Tesla Model 3 RWD
Based on its basic specifications, we would expect a 55kWh Megane E-tech to slot into this $60,000-$70,000 zone on arrival in Australia.
However, Renault importer Ateco surprised recently with the relatively high pricing of the LDV eT60 electric ute – another EV distributed locally by Ateco.
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