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The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is extra safe from fires

Battery pack has a feature that will help the fire brigade

The Megane gets a crossover version for the first time. PHOTO FROM RENAULT

The Renault Megane is quite a popular car in Europe and in certain export markets. Throughout its life, the vehicle has existed in various low-slung forms like convertibles and station wagons. But customers these days are crazy for crossovers, and the French automaker obviously wants to cash in on the demand. To that end, it has morphed the Megane into a small SUV and called it the Megane E-Tech Electric.

Certain versions of the car will be tailor-made for taxi services. PHOTOS FROM RENAULT

With a name like that, the car’s method of propulsion is already quite obvious. But more than the electric motors (which is reportedly also used by Nissan), Renault is proud of the fact that its newest Megane comes with an ultra-thin battery. At 110mm, the automaker claims that it is the world’s thinnest. It is made possible with LG’s own recipe for nickel and cobalt content in the lithium-ion pack.

Another thing that is worth pointing out is that the battery pack is codeveloped with the fire department. Fires are one of the biggest dangers of EV ownership as extinguishing them takes quite a long time. Renault and Dacia electric cars now have a so-called “Fireman Access” that supposedly allows rescuers to put out flames in just five minutes as opposed to three hours.

The OpenR screen's performance can rival your smartphone. PHOTOS FROM RENAULT

The Megane E-Tech Electric’s higher-capacity battery can go 470km in a single charge. All models are compatible with AC charging stations that can add 160km in an hour. Some trim levels also have DC-charging capabilities. Faster than AC chargers, up to 300km of range can be had in just 30 minutes.

The E-Tech’s massive touchscreen also deserves special mention. Called OpenR, the L-shaped display combines both the instruments and the infotainment system. It is built like a smartphone as it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip that is powerful enough to generate high-definition images and video feed from the car’s slew of electronic driver aids. OpenR’s software is Android-based and can receive over-the-air updates.

Authorities will be able to put out battery fires in just minutes. PHOTOS FROM RENAULT

The Megane E-Tech Electric rides on the new CMF-EV platform, which will be used by several Renault and Nissan electric cars. Aside from trim levels geared toward private owners, there will be versions dedicated to for-hire applications. Order books open in February 2022, and sales will start the following month.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.