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2023 Renault Megane E-Tech is '90 per cent recyclable' as French juggernaut goes big on sustainability for its upcoming Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro rival

Don't put me in general waste! Renault says it can recycle up to 90 per cent of its new Megane EV.

Renault claims its incoming next-generation all-electric Megane E-Tech will be 90 per cent recyclable, as it targets carbon neutrality by 2040.

According to Renault, the Megane E-Tech had been designed with a circular economy in mind. Not only will each vehicle use 28 kilograms of recycled plastic in its construction, and minimise its environmental impact by re-using aluminium off-cuts from the stamping process, but its materials will also be reclaimed at the end of its life.

The recycled materials will be re-used at a new Gigafactory designed for this purpose in Douai in the north of France. To reduce its carbon footprint further, the Megane E-Tech will use as many locally sourced parts as possible in order to cut its carbon footprint from transport.

Renault says 70 per cent of the new Megane E-Tech’s overall mass is sourced from within Europe.

The new Gigafactory will open its doors in 2024 and will have a focus on recycling the valuable metals used to make lithium-ion batteries.

Renault’s move toward ‘circular economy’ projects is part of a once-in-a-generation re-think of car manufacturing as the mass-production of electric vehicles bring up new issues for the industry. A strategic shift of manufacturing facilities to the key markets of Europe, China, and the US is taking place as brands are forced to move factories closer to battery construction facilities.

Renault is the latest to make big sustainability claims, following in the footsteps of brands like BMW and Polestar, both of which also offer circular economies for their vehicles, with the latter offering a publicly available life cycle assessment report for each vehicle’s overall environmental impact.

The hefty cost and impact of high-voltage batteries has made manufacturers conscious of reclaiming the materials at the end of the vehicles life, although how the plans will come to fruition is still unclear.

The Megane has morphed from a hatchback to a small SUV as it moves into the electric era, with the new-generation model launching on a new CMF-EV platform shared with Alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi. It is yet to be confirmed for the Australian market, but will launch in Europe in two variants, either a 96kW/250Nm base version or a 160kW/300Nm flagship.

It can travel 299km between charges on a base 40kWh battery, or 470km on the larger 60kWh battery, and can be charged from 10-80 per cent in 30 minutes using a DC charger capable of its maximum 130kW charging speed. It has a max AC charging speed of 7.4kW for a charge time of eight hours for the larger of the two batteries. Unlike the Polestar 2, the Megane E-Tech can feed power both ways via its charging port thanks to vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.

It is due to launch in Europe during the course of 2022, stay tuned as we keep an eye on Renault Australia’s plan for the model.