Renault Group

All-new Megane E-TECH Electric: road-trip to the heart of innovations - Episode 6

03 October 2022
2 min

Episode 6

Innovation to optimise EV range in cold weather

For nearly 125 years, Renault has been constantly seeking to innovate. From the direct-drive gearbox in 1899 through to the E-TECH hybrid motors in 2020, Renault has constantly found ways to give its customers full use of the ingenious ideas of its engineers. 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 explore with Jean-Baptiste Nicolet, a.k.a. TheiCollection, as he takes us on a road-trip from Paris to Normandy. For our sixth episode, we find out how Renault engineers devised a system that improves the range of electric vehicles in cold weather by recovering heat from the electric battery and engine.
by Maeva Pichot

Join Jean-Baptiste Nicolet, host of the TheiCollection YouTube channel, as we explore the All-new Renault Megane E-TECH Electric’s main patented innovations. In this sixth episode, we leave the narrow country roads of Normandy and set course for the return trip to Paris.

While recharging the electric battery, Jean-Baptiste takes a look at its range: up to 470 kilometres in a single charge. A range that Renault engineers have sought to keep as stable as possible regardless of the season. First of all, thanks to a battery temperature regulation system. Warmed in cold weather by circulating hot water from the electric motor and cooled in hot weather by circulating cold water coming from the coolant system, the battery on the All-new Megane E-TECH Electric is always at the ideal temperature for optimal charging and range.

But Jean-Baptiste knows that Renault engineers went one step further in optimising the vehicle's electric range, especially in winter, when the cabin also has to be heated even though temperatures are not ideal for energy storage and charge upkeep. A challenge that is compounded by the fact that an electric motor, unlike a combustion engine, does not produce enough heat to run a traditional heating system inside the cabin.

To find out more, Jean-Baptiste got in touch with Jean-Marie L’Huillier, Renault Engineering expert in electric vehicle heat management, who talks through the patented design for a winter energy management system that he worked on with his colleague, Robert Yu. Gone are the energy-hungry electrical resistors running off the battery to heat the cabin! The new system relies on a next-generation heat pump to recover heat stored in the battery when fast charging as well as the heat given off by the motor when being used intensively (during long trips on the motorway). The recovered heat is then used to warm the cabin.

Jean-Marie L’Huillier

This latest innovation not only helps naturally cool the battery and electric motor, but it also takes two times less energy to heat the cabin than with a traditional heat pump. When the outside temperature drops below 10°C, the range increase on motorways can reach up to 9%, while maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the car.

Jean-Marie L’Huillier
Renault Engineering Expert in electric vehicle energy management

Jean-Baptiste takes to the open road, now more informed about Renault’s innovative technology that gives the All-new Megane E-TECH Electric such an extensive range no matter the season, happy to see that such gains are not necessarily achieved through ever larger batteries.

Final episode coming soon …