Screened through our various protocols during the first part of our Supertest dedicated in particular to fuel consumption, the Renault Megane e-Tech now reveals its cargo secrets. Promising on paper, ultimately still average.
To shed light on electric cars and their consumption, we decided to carry out full-size tests, making each model studied travel almost 2,000 km. An opportunity to measure autonomy on long highway trips, but also mixed consumption and recharging power at fast terminals. To do this, we have implemented a strict protocol for each car.
Charging curves of the electric Renault Mégane: a “useful” full tank in 37 minutes
Following the path of the Volkswagen ID.3its natural competitor, the Renault Megane e-Tech It has at the top of the range a system capable of taking 130 kW of peak power. What it almost managed to accomplish during our two different tests at peaking very quickly at 128 kW power. Unfortunately, the celebrations don’t last as power drops to 106kW before forming a very slight plateau and then beginning an almost linear drop to the end of the load. To take advantage of the maximum power announced, it will be necessary to tickle the bottom of the battery and connect it at a rate of 15%.
Things hardly get any better with the battery warming feature over the excellent navigation provided by Google Maps. But it is up to 25% that the gains are felt, before the curve reaches its previously observed level. Not enough to make a real difference as it results in only one minute gained on 10-80% exercise.
In the fast terminals, the Renault Megane e-Tech achieved 10-80% in 37 minutes. There are almost 46 kWh recovered on average according to the information from the different terminals tested, or 42 kWh according to the net capacity of the announced battery. The final charge from 80% to 100% is also long as it will take 38 more minutes, although reaching 90% only requires 10 more minutes. It goes without saying once again that the operation is not profitable, both financially and over time. Especially since that 20% will be consumed twice as fast on the highway, in just over 20 minutes or 45 km.
|Charging time (min)||37||38||75 (1h15)|
|Range gained (km)||170||48||218|
Autonomy recovered: 275 km in one hour for the Megane e-Tech
Crossing these data with the consumption values that we pointed out earlier, the Electric Renault Megane Therefore, it can recover almost 170 km of autonomy in 37 minutes. It is far from the 250 km found in 25 minutes in the brochure, since it takes the WLTP figures as a reference. Except when you connect to a fast terminal, it’s usually on the highway. And this is where the appetite takes off.
In terms of prediction, the system is always reassuring. It is true that, on the road, the screen takes into account the last 75 kilometers traveled, which is quite average without being too optimistic. But be careful if relief comes your way. On the contrary, at the end of the charge, the autonomy shown is always pessimistic, giving the impression of adding 4 kWh/100 km more to the average that serves as a base in advance. In short, this SoC/autonomy ratio means that you are never surprised.
How much do electric Renault Mégane recharges cost?
At full rate on Ionity, 10-80% top-up could cost €29.23 (€0.79/min excluding carrier fees). At Fastned, which prefers to bill for energy consumed, the same operation would cost €26.86 (€0.59/kWh not including operator fees). Rule of three, the cost price of the Mégane on the motorway at regulatory speeds between two stations would represent, as in our case, an average amount of €16.5/100 km.
On this trip we made three top-ups for a total amount of €56.06, not including operator expenses. That is a final cost of €13.03/100 km at our last station of the trip (at 430 km). Therefore, the reduction of the total budget will depend on the charging solution chosen to return to the initial SoC, here 80%.
On-Board Route Planner, ABRP, and ChargeMap: Draw
To travel serenely by electric car, it is essential to prepare for the trip. Is what vehicle route planners and mobile apps offer to automate to show you the way and the travel time, but above all the different stations to aim for to recharge, as well as the expected recharge time.
Based on the excellent navigation provided by Google, the Renault Megane offers its own planner. Surprisingly, he chose an unexpected route to reach Porte d’Orléans in Paris, our goal, taking us along the National 7 before investigating via the A77. According to him, it is a shortcut of 20 more km through a secondary road where consumption is low. However, there is no choice but to connect it to a 50 kW DC terminal, which increases the idle time to a total of 1h35. It may be smart to go from north to south (where we find complications on the A6), but not in the other where fast terminals abound.
On the A Better Route Planner side, the route is more common and logical. We have not changed any parameters apart from the corresponding vehicle selection, the actual charge rate at the start, and an arbitrary 20% charge rate at the end. In the end, it asks us to stop only at Ionity terminals for a total of 41 minutes of recharging and 4h34 of travel, for a total of 5h15. The Chargemap planner makes even different choices with a Fastned station, an Ionity station and a Total Energy station. Advantage here in terms of prediction since it never asks us to exceed the 80% bar beyond which the operation is not profitable. According to him, this journey requires 5h08 of travel including 47 minutes of recharging.
Being the terminal network of this route what it is, we decided to leave with 80% charge. Enough to get to the -beautiful- Fastned de Saint-Ambreuil station, the furthest from our starting point. Recharging just enough to reach the next station, we remain immobilized for 28 minutes. That’s a minute less than at the Ionity station in Maison-Dieu, located almost 130 km further. Our last recharge will serve as a complement to reach our goal with 13 more minutes to unplug at 45% charge.
In the end, our strategy translates into a driving time of 4h21 and 1h10 recharging, for a total gross time of 5h31. By adding a flat rate of 4 minutes in stages (an arbitrary time to enter and exit the area, as well as to plug in the car), our trip represents 5h43 for 500 km.
Note here that A Better Route Planner is completely off the mark on certain cooldowns: according to it, it takes 16 minutes to go from 52% to 91% when in reality it takes more than twice that. A little closer to reality, although still a bit optimistic, cargo map it is close to the times we have observed. But he is wrong about the choice of terminals as he recommended us to aim for the 160 kW SDEY terminal at exit 22, declared out of service and 4.5 km beyond the Ionity Maison-Dieu!
Let us also specify to conclude this copious chapter that by forcing the navigation of the Renault Mégane, it had planned to arrive at the Fastned station with a rate of 18% and many times it was realistic, with predictions of 10% certainly too high at the start but becoming more refined with the kilometers.