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 Renault electric car project:
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 integrated into the front foglights which double up as daytime running lights.
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.
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.
Renault 5 to replace the Zoe in 2024
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. These upgrades included the likes of more powerful electric motors, higher capacity batteries, and even fast charging.
The Renault 5 will sit on the CMF-BEV platform, a modified version of the CMF-B platform built for cars measuring 3.90-4.20 metres in length. It would provide significant advantages on the cost front, and 60% of the non-electric components will be the same. Over 60% of the non-electric components of the vehicle would be carried over from the CMF-B. This would help Renault benefit from its impressive track record and make 3 million cars a year by 2025 on this base.
Previously, Laurence Excoffon, Alliance Platforms Leader, Renault Group, mentioned the benefits of the CMF-BEV platform. The CMF-BEV platform will focus on added values such as acoustics, driving behaviour, and plug and charge.
Battery & Range
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. The aerodynamic performance of CMF-BEV cars will be good, leading to an energy consumption decrease of over 10% compared to the Zoe, de Meo said at the Alliance digital conference held on 27 January 2022. Moreover, he said that CMF-BEV models will come with a 50 kWh+ battery pack.
We will have a battery pack that will allow at launch – that means 2024 – up to 400 km of range with the battery of a little bit more than 50 kilowatt (hour). It will also integrate an evolved electronic architecture and infotainment system. So, you have seen the Renault 5 concept. So, I think you can understand more or less what we are talking about. We have taken a very smart approach to reuse some of the components not related to the BEV, let’s say the package, from the CMF-B, so that means the ICE version, the Clio’s, the Micra’s, today’s Micra.Luca de Meo, CEO, Renault Group (Alliance digital conference held on 27 January 2022)
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 for models in the future.
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. Heavy investments have gone into lithium-ion battery technology already, he told the British publication.
LG Chem & Envision EASC to supply battery
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.
Next-generation Electric Motor
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.
Price & Release Date
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 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, Nissan Micra EV equivalent, and the Cupra UrbanRebel.
According to a press release by Renault on June 9, 2021, the E-Mobility Cluster known as Renault ElectriCity is setup that comprises of Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz plants, all located in northern France. The production of the Renault 5 will be tasked to the Douai plant. The battery for the Renault 5 will be manufactured by Envision AESC in Douai which is not far from the manufacturing facility.
On the hot 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. The Alpine R5 will have a maximum power output of 215 bhp and might cover the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in around 6 seconds.
The 2024 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), without compromising performance. The sister model to the Alpine R5 is expected as the Nissan Micra EV NISMO.
Featured image: Renault