Everything we know about the Renault 5 as of November 2021

As a part of its ‘Renaulution’ strategy which envisions Renault as an industry leader in electrification by 2025, the Renault 5 concept car was unveiled in January 2021. It will make way for an all-electric hatchback, the production model of which will be launched by early 2024.

The Renault 5 is a big part of the French company’s “Nouvelle Vague” plan, under which Renault is eying to become a tech, service and clean energy brand. More details on the Renault 5 emerged at the Renault eWays ElectroPop event, which was held on 30 June 2021, and here’s all the information we have on the low-cost electric car project:

Design

The Renault 5 sources inspiration from the original R5 model from the early 1970s and is designed with modern lines and design cues. There are some interesting design elements in the Renault 5 prototype, such as the location of the charging hatch on the bonnet, illuminated front and rear logos, aero flaps included in tail lamps and fog lamps in the front bumper which double up as daytime running lights.

Renault 5 bonnet
The Renault 5 comes with a charging hatch on the bonnet. Image courtesy: Renault.

There are attractive attention-to-detailing bits like the symbol ‘5’ marked at various places on the car, such as the rear logo, wheels and side grid and French flag embossed on rearview mirrors.

Partners for the new battery for Renault 5

According to Luca De Meo, CEO, Renault Group, Renault will be joining hands with two partners to ramp up electric vehicle production – LG Chem and Envision EASC. Envision EASC will provide Renault with efficient and affordable solutions for its CMF BEV vehicles, which will start with the Renault 5. The battery developed under this partnership will be assembled in France. It will achieve a reduced carbon footprint of up to 35 per cent compared to the current battery that goes into models like the Zoe and Kangoo.

Renault 5 front three quarter
Envision EASC will be providing Renault with efficient and affordable solutions for its CMF BEV vehicles. Image courtesy: Renault.

Positioning

Sophie Schmidtin, Vice President, Research and Advanced Engineering, Renault Group, said that Renault is currently working on two types of NMC (Nickel Magnesium Cobalt) battery options – one for low cost “Affordable” category for A and B segment cars and the other for “Performance Oriented” category for C and sporty segments. The Renault 5 will use the former, and the company has ruled out LFP chemistry which the VW Group is considering for its electric mini car project.

Range & Battery performance

Schmidtin added that the Renault 5 would be offered with optimized battery solutions using high voltage cells, which will help it in achieving a 400 km range (according to the WLTP cycle). The production cost of this battery will be lesser less than $85/kWh.

Renault 5 rear three quarter
The Renault 5 will use low-cost affordable NMC cells and will be falling under the small car category. Image courtesy: Renault.

Renault will also work on improving the battery pack performance from 2024. Under this plan, the range of electric vehicles will be increased, thanks to a new generation of algorithms and software. The new battery will also be fully ASIL-D compliant to ensure the best safety, integrated cooling and wireless BMS. Renault will also be able to reduce the battery costs by making use of lesser parts.

de Meo said that the current development allows the battery to have a range of 400 km, which is good enough for intra-city mobility and can be charged up to 80 per cent or have 300 km of range in a charging period of half an hour. However, Renault is working on bringing down this duration to just 10 minutes.

There were rumours that Renault will use LFP cells in the batteries of the 5, but they have turned out to be false. The company plans to continue using Lithium Ion cells in its EVs. Solid-state batteries are obviously out of the question for this budget model or any other Renault EV at this point for that matter. “I think lithium-ion tech will continue for a long time,” de Meo said at the Megane E-Tech Electric media drive, as per an Autocar report. A lot of investment has gone into lithium-ion battery technology already, he told the British publication.

Electric Motor performance

Philippe Brunet, Senior Vice President, powertrain and EV engineering, Renault Group, said that the next-generation electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) would make its way in the Renault 5 and incorporate new technologies. These include stator hairpin, glued motor stack, brushless and hollow rotor shafts, which will work for better efficiency and lower production costs.

New CMF-BEV platform

Renault 5 tail lamp
50% components of the CMF-BEV platform are retained from the existing CMF-B platform. Image courtesy: Renault.

Laurence Excoffon, Alliance Platforms Leader, Renault Group, mentioned the benefits of the CMF-BEV platform, which will underpin the production version of Renault 5. These benefits are as follows:

  • 50% of components of the CMF-BEV platform, including all non-EV components, are retained from the CMF-B platform, which has helped in reducing the costs of production of the platform by up to 33% of that of the current generation Renault Zoe.
  • The CMF-BEV platform will make way for affordable electric cars with a driving range of up to 400 km in the WLTP cycle and will focus on added values such as acoustics, driving behaviour and plug and charge.

Release Date & Price

In conclusion, De Meo mentioned that out of 10 additional battery electric vehicles from Renault Group, 7 of them would wear the Renault badge, one of which will be the production version of the Renault 5. Also, by 2025, the contribution of new electric Renault models will be in line with their ICE equivalents in percentage.

Renault 5 front and rear side
The Renault 5 will be one out of 10 new additional battery electric vehicles from the Renault Group by 2025. Image courtesy: Renault.

Renault has said that the Renault 5 would cost 33% less compared to the Zoe. That puts the starting price at around GBP 21,250 (in the UK) and EUR 25,000 in France. The global launch of the Renault 5 will begin in early 2024 and compete with cars like the VW ID.2 and the Seat ‘Urbano.’

Alpine R5

Renault will also come up with the performance-oriented derivative, the Alpine R5. According to a conversation between Auto Express and Gilles Le Borgne, executive vice-president for engineering, Renault, the Alpine R5 will come with a single motor mounted at the front. This Alpine R5 will have a maximum power output of 215 bhp and might cover the 0-62 mph (0-100 kmph) sprint in around 6 seconds.

Alpine R5 teaser side 2024
The R5 Alpine was teased at the eWays Electropop in June 2021 and is part of the 3 cars that will reboot the Alpine brand starting 2024. Image: Renault Group

The new Alpine R5 will also be based on Renault’s CMF-BEV platform. The chassis will include MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link layout at the rear and can support a larger 52 kWh battery capable of delivering a range of over 200 miles (320 km).

Zoe to be replaced by the Renault 5

Introduced in 2012, it is reported that the Renault Zoe will be replaced by the Renault 5. InsideEVs (via Matthias Schmidt), citing de Meo, said that the Zoe will not live to see the next generation. The report says that the Zoe platform is old. And given the price, charging time, and range targets of the Renault 5, the Zoe, even if upgraded over the current form, would be inferior in every respect. The Zoe was updated several times over its nine-year run including a major refresh in 2019. All of these upgrades included the likes of more powerful electric motors, higher capacity batteries, and even fast charging.

According to InsideEVs data, Renault has sold more than 300,000 Zoes, most of them in Europe.

Featured image: Renault