The Renault Nissan group was among the first ever to start its electric transition. The Japanese made what for a long time held the world’s best-selling battery car scepter, the Leaf, while the Lozenge began electrifying Europe with its ZE models. Now, however, the time has come to change pace, also in the context of the Alliance: in fact, the new generation of Renault hybrids, the zero-emission Dacia Spring, and the eVision concept that anticipates the new Mégane electric. The latter will lead to the debut of a new modular platform, the Cmf-Ev, which will be the basis for all the medium and compact batteries of the Franco-Japanese group. On the occasion of the virtual eWays event, we participated in a round table discussion with Gilles Le-Borgne, Engineering Director of the Renault group, who revealed some of the secrets of the new chassis destined for the Alliance’s electric cars.
Born for the C segment, but also for SUVs
The Common Module Family for Electic Vehicles is designed to be the basis for a new generation of C-segment cars. However, its particular shape will also allow it to accommodate models belonging to segments B and D: the minimum length of the bodies will be approximately four meters while making the most of the length you can reach up to just over four meters and 70 centimeters. The electric platform is designed for both traditional cars and SUVs and crossovers. In addition to this, Gilles Le-Borgne confirmed that the chassis could also be the backbone of sports cars: the Alpine technicians, in fact, have already begun to evaluate it for a future model, probably the awaited compact SUV.
Being a skateboard type platform, the Cmf-Ev integrates the battery on the floor, between the two axes. Given the size of the chassis, Renault has managed to obtain space for accumulators (with LG Chem Nmc cells from 270Wh / kg with 10% cobalt) up to 87 kWh: currently there are also two other different cuts for the batteries, from 40 and 60 kWh, but every 18/24 months the chemistry updates could allow to increase the capacity. This will allow the new compact cars of the Losanga to offer ranges suitable for the segment: Le-Borgne spoke of a motorway distance of about 320 km at a speed of 120 km / h and 450 km in the combined cycle for the version with intermediate battery. Onboard there will be a fast-charging system that will allow you to restore 200 km of autonomy in just 20 minutes.
Lightweight and compact
The particularly short overhangs will allow the CMF-EV platform to offer particularly spacious cockpits in relation to the external dimensions of the models. The new electric Renault Mégane, for example, will measure 4 meters and 21 centimeters, but the interior will offer a space comparable to that of a car that is at least ten centimeters longer. Precisely segment C of the Losanga will have an estimated weight of about 1,650 kg: a small number for electric of this size, made possible not only by the use of 40 and 60 kWh batteries but also by the use of light materials for the platform, mainly made of steel. Some parts of the suspension, such as the lower arm of the rear McPherson architecture, are in fact made of aluminum, as are other components of the chassis.
The heart of the powertrain will be a 218 hp front electric powertrain (which could be combined with a second unit for all-wheel-drive models) which will allow the French electric motors to offer more power than their main competitors. Like Volkswagen, Régie also aims to use a single platform for most of the group’s models: the Cmf-Ev will in fact be shared with Nissan and Mitsubishi, in order to reduce the production costs of the new models. Nonetheless, Le-Borgne ended his speech with a predictable statement: “For at least another ten or 15 years, electric will remain slightly more expensive than heat engine cars.”