Renault Group

All-new Mégane E-TECH Electric: road-trip to the heart of innovations - Episode 1

11 July 2022
2 min

Episode 1

Two patents, one revolutionised hatch door

For nearly 125 years, Renault has been constantly seeking to innovate. From the direct drive gearbox in 1899 to the E-TECH hybrid motor in 2020, the brand has constantly found ways of giving its customers access to the ingenious designers of its in-house inventors. The All-new Megane E-TECH Electric – the first of Renault’s Nouvelle Vague – sees Renault still innovating. More than 300 patents have been lodged for the design of the vehicle and its platform, of which we have selected seven to showcase over the summer period as we head off on a summer road-trip with Jean-Baptiste Nicolet, a.k.a. TheiCollection. Our first episode tells the story of how the car’s range was improved through an innovative process that reduced the weight of the rear hatch door.
by Maeva Pichot

Join Jean-Baptiste Nicolet, host of the YouTube channel TheiCollection as he takes us on road-trip on board the All-new Renault Mégane E-TECH Electric, journeying through a selection of innovative features that gave rise to a number of patents. This first episode starts with an early morning departure from Paris, destination: Deauville.

When loading his bags in the boot, Jean-Baptiste can’t help but notice how light the rear hatch feels. A true advantage when it comes to extending the range of an electric vehicle. Curious to know more about the hidden innovation at play, he calls on Hervé Maine, plastic injection process specialist at the Production Engineering and Vehicle Prototypes Division. Hervé explains that a brand-new water injection assisted moulding process makes the plastic stiffer while also requiring fewer metals parts. Moreover, plastic carved out of the door can be reused to make a new hatch door, feeding back into a recycling loop that was also the subject of its own patent.

Hervé Maine

For the hatch door on the Mégane E-TECH Electric, we wanted to come up with a design that was as light weight as possible. We therefore had to reduce the number of parts used for the door and devise a new way of stiffening the structure: a hollow grooved carved out by water injection. We also added a new process to the production line to recover waste plastic that could then be reinjected into the following part being made. The idea being to waste as little as possible.

Hervé Maine
Plastic injection process specialist at the Renault Production Engineering and Vehicle Prototypes Division

Now a little more knowledgeable, Jean-Baptiste takes to the road behind the wheel of the All-new Mégane E-TECH Electric, comfortable with the milage in store. Destination: Normandy!

Tune in to the next episode for more …