Renault’s Megane E-Tech is now France’s most popular EV with a 100K/year run rate

Renault is shining a light on its brand-new all-electric compact Megane E-Tech, which boasted the best EV sales in France last month, with 25,000 vehicles sold in the last three months. That tallies up to a 100K/year run rate – could it outrun Telsa’s Model 3 this year?

Backed by an aggressive marketing campaign, Megane E-Tech, alongside the skippy Dacia Spring, has sold well in a country where total new car registrations have dropped (in addition to an automobile crisis with numbers still staggeringly low compared to pre-pandemic levels). While Telsa’s Model 3 held the number-one spot in France in 2021, the company has sold around 6,660 as of the end of April 2022, without many new registrations in the last few months. Other top EV sellers: the Fiat 500 and the Peugeot e-208.

In a new interview with Le Journal de Dimanche, Renault’s CEO Luca de Meo said Megane E-Tech’s success is putting the company “on the right track.” He also noted that the company is shifting gears in the face of economic realities and pivoting to offering fewer cars but at higher prices.

Renault has been trying to rebound from a global automobile crisis and a historic loss of 8 billion euros in 2020; in the first half of this year, the company posted a net loss. Automakers like Renault are facing a difficult European market with rising inflation and a shortage in semiconductors that is impossible to control, making the EV “equation” a challenging proposition, said de Meo.

The democratization of electric cars will take place in Europe and will involve products at affordable prices. We have been working on electric cars for 12 years and are putting in place the conditions for the Renault brand to be 100% electric by 2030. For the moment, 40% of the cost of the car is in the battery. Of that 40%, 80% is raw materials. And 90% of these raw materials we do not control. This makes the equation difficult. The current success of the electric Megane E-Tech, with 25,000 sales in three months, shows that we are on the right track. My job is to project Renault into the future, and in Europe the future is electric.

Renault eyes 2030 as its date to be all-electric and plans to release 11 new EV models between now and 2026 (with a total of 25 new models to include ICE vehicles), which will include a high-end Alpine. “They will be more expensive to buy because they cost more to produce, but not necessarily to use in daily life,” said de Meo. “To mass produce and push sales with rebates is a total misconception,” he added, noting that the company has changed its philosophy to give priority to value over volume.

In 2025, the brand aims to have a line of seven all-electric models, with the return of the R5 and the 4L in a new emissions-free version.

Still, in France, Megane E-Tech and Spring account for only 6.75% of Renault sales, compared with 33% for a combined Clio and Sandero sales, the group’s best-selling models. What about other all-electric cars from Renault? The popular Zoe sold 9,000 vehicles so far this year, and the Twingo’s all-electric version sold 8,600 units.

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Jennifer Mossalgue

Jennifer is a journalist and editor based in France and serves as the copy chief for the 9to5 family of sites, including 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, and Electrek.