Race car inspired: Energy optimisation at the heart of knowledge sharing

Groupe Renault is a pioneer and expert in electric mobility – the cornerstone of the Group’s current and future commitment to sustainable mobility for all. For over 10 years, the Group has garnered expertise in electric vehicles that translates into more dynamic and efficient hybrid motors.

At this year’s 2020 Brussels Motor Show, Groupe Renault will celebrate the world premiere of the All-New Clio E-TECH and All-New Captur E TECH Plug-in, electrified versions of it’s two best-sellers. These latest models are new additions to what is already the largest electric vehicle range on the market. This line-up is soon to be extended to the family car segment with Mégane E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid.

The iconic Clio is now hybrid.


The All-New Clio embodies Groupe Renault’s vision of future mobility which is autonomous, electric, and connected. For example, it has one of the most modern and comprehensive driving assistance systems on the market, including the Highway and Traffic Jam Companion – a first step towards self-driving vehicles. Fitted with 9.3-inch screen and combined with the launch of the Renault EASY CONNECT, it also benefits from extensive multimedia features.

Also, for the first time, the Clio range now comes with a ‘hybrid’ E-TECH engine. In addition to motor engines, it is the perfect embodiment of synergies that lie at the heart of the strategy between Groupe Renault – pioneer and European leader in electric mobility – and its Alliance partners. Thanks to split-second responsiveness when starting and accelerating, it offers an experience and driving pleasure beyond compare with other hybrid city cars on the market.

Combine efficiency with driving pleasure.


The hybrid engine on the All-New Clio E-TECH offers maximum efficiency and unparalleled dynamic responsiveness; from 80 to 120 kph (50 to 75 mph) in just 6.9s.

Regenerative braking – like on an electric vehicle – combined with the high battery charging capacity and efficiency of the E-TECH system help optimise energy. In fact, 80 per cent of the time spent on city roads is in all-electric mode, for a consumption saving of up to 40 per cent compared with an internal combustion engine in the urban cycle. In all-electric mode, the New Clio can travel up to 38 mph.

All hybrid devices represent an additional weight of no more than 10 kilos compared to a dCi 115 engine. In mixed cycle, the all-new Clio E-TECH is with CO2 emissions less than 100g/km (WLTP values), subject to final homologation. As such, it remains true to its 30-year long track record of being a versatile car with no compromise.

Unique features for the All-New Clio E-TECH


The exterior has a recognisable rear bumper and E-TECH badge located on the centre post as well as on the hatch of the boot. A ‘Hybrid Blue’ pack is also available to customise both the exterior and interior.

Inside the car, the ‘Smart Cockpit’ features a 7-inch TFT instrument cluster and the new Renault EASY LINK infotainment screen in either 7-inch (horizontal) or 9.3-inch (vertical). The new digital dashboard features a range of images and animations specific to hybrid; for example, they indicate battery levels while charging or when the electric motor is in use.

In addition, the unique gear stick comes with an ‘E-Tech’ badge. Lastly, the Stop-and-Start button located under the media screen has been replaced by a specific ‘EV’ button that puts the car directly into electric mode – this requires the battery to be sufficiently charged.

The All-New Captur, small SUV with electric on demand.


A best-seller in its segment in Europe, the Captur has been a front-runner for the Renault range. Sold across all continents and in key markets such as China – where it is now industrialised for the local market – the All-New Captur builds on its previous success with a new technological edge. With its new E-TECH Plug-in hybrid engine, it also embodies the three pillars of the Groupe Renault’s vision for future mobility: autonomous, connected and electric.

Through a popular and iconic model and based on its expertise in electric mobility, Renault is democratising plug-in hybrid technology to offer a unique driving experience accessible to all.

Maximum versatility.


The E-TECH Plug-in engine and its increased battery capacity (9.8 kWh and 400V) mean that the All-New Captur can run at 100 per cent electric for 30 miles (WLTP)with a top speed of 85 mph . The All-New Captur is of unprecedented versatility: it can run without using any fuel throughout the week for regular trips, then travel further on weekends or long holidays without having to worry about range. In order to maximise the range in electric mode, it is necessary to connect the vehicle regularly to recharge the battery. The new E-TECH Plug-in otherwise functions as a hybrid E-TECH model, with all the advantages of this technology.

The All-New Captur E-TECH Plug-in is fitted with a new MULTI-SENSE driving mode: ‘PURE’, allowing for all-electric driving.

It also has a special feature, available in MULTI-SENSE ‘SPORT’ mode. If the battery has enough charge, and by fully depressing the accelerator pedal, the electric motors and the petrol engine work together thanks to the series-parallel architecture. The vehicle can then tap into the powertrain’s full potential; especially useful when overtaking, for example.

Another feature called ‘E-Save’, available in MULTI-SENSE, limits the use of the electric motor and draws power from the combustion motor, thereby saving battery power (at least 40%) allows driving electric whenever the driver wants for example, to drive into city centres.

Thanks to its unique battery capacity, its ability to continually regenerate energy, and its two electric motors, the All-New Captur makes the most of the E-TECH hybrid system’s key assets: the systematic start-up in electric mode and reduced running cost.

In mixed cycle, the New Captur E-TECH Plug-In is expected to consume 188 mpg and emit about 34 grams of CO2/km (WLTP). This requires an optimised usage of the 100 per cent mode.

The All-New Captur E-TECH Plug-in comes with unique stylings


The All-New Captur E-TECH Plug-in draws on stylistic details that are specific to the hybrid range.

‘E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid’ logos are affixed to the hatch of the boot and centre post. The petrol tank is on the left-hand side of the vehicle; the charging socket, located on the right, which has a light that gives colour-coded information as to the state of the charging process: blue (charging), green (charged), orange (waiting), red (no charge).

Inside, the seating remains unchanged with the rear seat still able to slide 16cm. A space under the hinged false floor allows to store charging cables without encroaching on the boot volume.

E-TECH markers are also located on the ‘Smart Cockpit’ and come with unique personalisation elements and an ‘E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid’ badge on the gear stick. The Stop-and-Start button has been replaced by an ‘EV’ button to switch directly to ‘PURE’ mode while driving. The electric gear stick ‘e-shifter’ (no mechanical cables) comes with a ‘Brake’ function to get the most out of regenerative braking.

The All-New Captur E-TECH Plug-In now features two large screens: a 10-inch digital dashboard and a 9.3-inch Renault EASY LINK system multimedia display. The two screens make it easier to understand and monitor the running of the active driving mode. The TFT instrument cluster comes with the option of displaying battery life, recharge time, flow exchanges, energy recovery and current charge level of the electric motor battery.

Similarly, different colours make it easy to know when the car is in different modes: green when driving on the electric motor and blue when regenerating power.

All energy use information is also available via the multimedia screen.

Renault E-TECH : A dual engine combining responsiveness, driving pleasure, and efficiency.

The Renault E-TECH hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains were developed and patented by Renault Engineering. It is inherited from the EOLAB concept car, unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and benefits from the brands long term electric expertise. It uses parts designed within the Alliance, like its new-generation 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that has been reworked specifically for the usage. It is joined by two electric motors – one of which is HSG type (High-Voltage Starter Generator) – and an innovative multi-mode clutch less gearbox. The association of both electric motors and the gearbox optimises for smooth gear changes (the type of architecture that is known for better fuel efficiency and comes straight from the Renault F1 Team’s vast experience).

The drive train used in Renault hybrid motors is modular: E-TECH for ‘hybrid’ (HEV) and E-TECH Plug-in for ‘plug-in hybrid’ (PHEV). Integrating the new technology into the two different models is simple thanks to both the new CMF-B modular architecture that was designed from the outset to take on electric capabilities and the compact size of the E-TECH systems so that they can be mounted in the engine bay of a versatile sedan, such as the all-new Clio.

Renault engineers have devised an innovative solution for a hybrid range that is relevant, original, and exclusive – with more than 150 patents – and based on a hybrid “series-parallel” architecture to ensure the largest range of combinations and the best COgains when on the road.

Battery capacity varies according to the type of hybrid engine: The All-New Clio E-TECH has a 1.2 kWh battery (230V) that delivers significant reductions in fuel use and COemissions, for up to 80 per cent of urban driving time in 100 per cent electric mode. The All-New Captur E-TECH Plug-in has a 9.8 kWh battery (400V) that allows for up to 30 miles* (WLTP) in 100 per cent electric mode.

*Subject to final WLTP homologation

The combination of two electric motors, a multi-mode smart gearbox and a combustion motor offers a wide variety of drive modes:

  • 100 per cent electric start: The gearbox is clutch-less therefore the combustion motor is not utilised when starting the car; E-TECH hybrid vehicles are systematically started by the primary electric motor. Providing a engaging driving experience as it immediately delivers maximum torque for a reactive start.
  • Automatic adaptation to driving situations: Groupe Renault E-Tech technology is based on a series-parallel architecture allowing it to combine the advantages of the different types of hybridisation possible (series, parallel and series-parallel). The motors can operate independently or in concert by directing their power to the wheels. The powertrain manages its motors and their supply according to acceleration and power requirements, as well as battery regeneration opportunities. This management is carried out according to 15 operating combinations between the various motors and the gears engaged on the gearbox

When in use, the change from one mode to another is seamless and does not require any input from the driver. The E-TECH system automatically chooses the most appropriate mode for the situation in order to optimise emissions and fuel economy, while guaranteeing responsive and enjoyable driving.

Energy regeneration and regenerative braking

  • Battery regeneration while slowing: When the driver lifts their foot off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle is in ‘Drive’, the primary electric motor functions as a generator that recovers kinetic energy produced by the deceleration and turns it into electrical energy that is sent back to the battery. To recover more energy, the gear selector can be put into ‘Brake’ (B) mode; in which case, the car slows down much faster.
  • Regenerative braking: When the driver presses down on the brakes, the braking process is triggered electrically, with additional hydraulic braking power coming from the brake pads if necessary. Here, too, the electric motor provides additional braking, recovering excess energy and returning it to the battery – as much as the battery’s storage capacity will allow.

All these features mean the Renault E-TECH and E-TECH Plug-in models are highly responsive for improved driving pleasure, they optimise energy consumption, and provide optimal battery recharge features that engage while the car is slowing and braking, which makes for the best overall driving experience.

Energy optimisation at the heart of knowledge sharing


Since 2013, the Renault F1 Team and Renault engineering have shared their respective knowledge in the field of energy management. To prepare the arrival of hybrid motors in Formula 1, engineers, experts in hybrid – now in charge of Renault E-TECH models – worked on developing a Formula 1 hybrid motor at the Renault Viry-Châtillon site. There, they finetuned their energy management strategy now used in designing Renault’s hybrid models.

It is mainly thanks to such knowledge sharing that E-TECH engines combine driving pleasure with high efficiency in terms of speed regeneration and energy use.

As in F1, kinetic energy can be recovered during deceleration and braking then transformed into electrical energy to recharge the battery. On standard vehicles, especially when on motorways, energy management rules start charging the battery by forcing the engine to operate its optimum RPM yield. Excess energy can then be used to relieve the combustion engine when the accelerator is worked harder than normal, or to ensure a 100% electric ride when the scheduled route goes through urban zones.

On standard models with the E-TECH Plug-in engine, the SPORT mode in multi-SENSE settings allows all the thermal and electrical power to be used simultaneously, thereby granting more driving pleasure and efficiency when accelerating. When considerable pressure is put on the accelerator, the two electric motors provide combined additional power to the combustion engine. This practice comes directly from Formula 1, where drivers can put the car into a specific mode to get maximum available power, especially during qualifying rounds.

Sharper responses thanks to the innovative gearbox


The Renault E-TECH engine powertrain architecture is based on similar foundations to that of the Renault F1 Team’s single-seaters: a combustion engine combined with two electric motors and a central battery. This architecture is paired with a multi-mode dog gearbox.

The clutch-less gearbox allows for a pure electric start and significantly reduces gaps in acceleration during gear changes enhancing driving comfort and performance while accelerating. In F1, the smooth gear changes allow for less jerkiness and a reduced loss of grip.

Sustainable mobility for all

Groupe Renault strives to provide sustainable mobility for all, both today and in the future. This latest arrival of electrified models is a next step towards reaching that goal. By 2022, the Groupe Renault plans to ramp-up its electric range with eight fully electric models and 12 electrified models (hybrid and plug-in hybrids).