The setup is similar to Toyota's in that it uses a series-parallel system that can either run the car with electric power alone or additionally using the combustion engine, with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions compared with standard combustion engines.
The Renault Clio Hybrid is rated at 96 grams per km of CO2 on the WLTP emissions cycle, a 12 percent improvement over the most efficient diesel versions, compared with 86 g/km for the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid small car.
De Meo said the cost of the system was also reduced by the fact that Renault does not use a conventional transmission. Instead it uses a clutchless so-called "dog" gearbox along with a second electric motor to synchronize the combustion and electric engines. Toyota uses a similar system, which it describes as an E-CVT.
Renault will have also cut costs by using a relatively simple non-turbo 1.6-liter engine, analysts said.
Renault is not sharing its E-Tech hybrid technology with Nissan, despite their close relationship as alliance partners. Instead Nissan is working to bring its Japan-developed e-Power technology to Europe.
When asked why the two partners were not sharing E-Tech, de Meo said: "This was the same question I asked the people here when I joined: Why don't we have the same solution? But history is history."
He said that that E-Tech was "more adapted to European conditions" than Nissan's system.
Toyota first launched its hybrid system in 1997 in the first-generation Prius and now is Europe's leading hybrid brand with the technology making up 62 percent of its sales in the first eight months of the year, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
De Meo said Renault had been working on the system for 10 years and utilized the engineering skills of the Renault Formula One team, which uses a hybrid system in the current generation of racecars.
Renault's system can also be specified as a plug-in hybrid in cars such as the Captur and Megane compact with the addition of a larger lithium battery.
Full-hybrid engines are seen as a sweet spot for manufacturers that need to reduce CO2 for small cars especially but are wary of asking customers to pay for the cost of a bigger battery in plug-in hybrid versions.
A full-hybrid setup also delivers much bigger fuel savings than mild-hybrid models, which do not have an electric-only mode.
Other automakers that are expanding their full-hybrid programs include Kia, Hyundai and Ford Motor.