PARIS -- Renault has released prices for the Megane E-Tech Electric, one of the automaker’s most hotly anticipated launches in recent years.
The full-electric compact car will start at 35,200 euros ($39,440) in France for the 130 hp version with a 40 kilowatt-hour battery in base trim, a figure that falls to 29,200 euros with a 6,000 euro ecological bonus for electric vehicles.
At the other end of spectrum, a 220 hp version with 60 kWh battery with high-speed charging capability and the highest trim level is 51,400 euros without the EV bonus.
A lot is riding on the launch of the new Megane. The current Megane, available with diesel, gasoline and plug-in hybrid versions, will continue for a few years.
CEO Luca de Meo hopes to turn around Renault’s fortunes with a "value, not volume" strategy, by concentrating on the higher-margin compact segment instead of small cars, with vehicles like the Megane E-Tech Electric.
The Renault brand's current compact offerings, the Megane hatchback and station wagon and the Kadjar SUV, have underperformed relative to mass-market competitors.
The car is built at Renault’s factory in Douai, northern France, where the automaker is setting up an "ElectrCity" grouping of EV assembly and components plants as it transitions from internal combustion powertrains.
It will be available in three trim levels, Equilibre, Techno and Iconic. The main differentiator mechanically will be a choice of batteries, either 40 kWh (300 km range, or 186 miles) or 60 kWh (450-470 km). Buyers can choose from a 100 kilowatt electric motor with an output of 130 hp, or a 160-kW electric motor with an output of 220 hp.
Renault says charging time is 30 minutes for 300 km of range at a 130-kW fast-charging station. Buyers can specify what kind of home charger they want: Standard (AC up to 7 kW); Boost (AC up to 7 kW, DC up to 85 kW); Super (AC up to 7kW, DC up to 130 kW) or Optimum (AC up to 22 kW, DC up to 130 kW).
The Megane E-Tech Electric will compete with a growing number of full-electric compact cars, including the Volkswagen ID3 (from 39,900 euros in France), Citroen C4 (from 35,600 euros in France) and Nissan Leaf (34,400 euros in France). The Peugeot 308 and Opel Astra will have full-electric versions in 2023.
At the top of its price range, however, it bumps up against lower-trim versions of the Tesla Model 3, the best-selling EV in Europe. Tesla has tailored Model 3 prices to take advantage of incentives in various countries.