Essai – Renault Master E-Tech Electric (2022) : le même van électrique qu’avant, mais qui va plus loin

Essai – Renault Master E-Tech Electric (2022) : le même van électrique qu’avant, mais qui va plus loin

The Renault Master E-Tech Electric is actually a Master ZE with a larger capacity battery. And if it can now go further, that doesn’t make it a real novelty. It’s even a little new with the old.

This new Renault Master E-Tech Electric does not convince… Announced as a novelty, it is only a Renault Master ZE with a new battery. What makes it change its name, it boasts greater autonomy, but does not benefit from any other novelty. Dashboard, instrumentation, controls and equipment are those of the “old” Master ZE. Same for mechanics. Same engine and same power, you have to settle for 57 kW or 76 horsepower, and still does not recover energy other than braking and deceleration.

The new battery has a capacity of 52 kWh and provides a range of around 200 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. There are two chargers available to choose from. The first is a 7.4 kW single phase, the second a 22 kW DC charger. The first is made for domestic recharges. It will take about ten hours to “fill up” on a conventional outlet. Through a 7.4 kW Wallbox, the battery will recharge to 80% in 5 hours. As for the 22kW DC charger, it can recover 50 kilometers in 45 minutes at a public terminal.

speed too limited

The few kilometers traveled at the wheel of this new Renault Master E-Tech Electric confirm what we already knew. It drives very smoothly, with a good driving position and excellent all-round vision, and handles very well on the road. Well planted on its supports, it is very stable. The accelerations are clear and frank and the speed increase very fast. Unfortunately, this observation is compromised by a top speed limited to 80 km/h on the 3.5 tonne version. If in the city this maximum speed is not a problem, it is different outside the agglomeration. Taking an acceleration lane is a source of stress, as insertion into traffic can be dangerous. And if you find yourself behind a truck traveling at 75 km/h… you will stay there!

From 8 to 15 m³ of useful volume

On the equipment side, a single level of finish called Comfort. Central locking is standard, as is the glove box that opens like a drawer, the Bluetooth radio, and the heated electric mirrors. For the rest, which is a lot, you will have to go through the options of manual air conditioning (€1,900 without VAT), R-Link Evolution with DAB radio and navigation (€790 without VAT) or cruise control / speed limiter (€250 € without VAT). This Master is equipped with new driving aids, such as “Side Wind Assist”, which is the automatic stabilization of the vehicle in case of side wind. It is standard, as is the automatic switching on of the lights and windshield wipers or the front and rear parking aids. However, the rear camera with the image reflected in the screen placed on the windshield, very useful in these large panel vehicles, is an option.

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This Master E-Tech Electric retains its utilitarian qualities, unchanged from the thermal versions. Four vans are offered, available in three lengths (L1, L2, L3) and two heights (H1 and H2). These dimensions provide usable volumes ranging from 8 m³ for the small L1H1 to 15 m³ for the large L3H2. Two GVWs are also on the menu, 3.1t. and 3.5 tons, with a heavy 3.8-ton version expected at some point. The Master is also available as chassis and floor-cab, in L2 and L3, allowing multiple transformations to accommodate a flatbed, tipper or high-volume box that then accepts up to 20m³. Therefore, the Master Electric offer has been expanded and now has 15 versions compared to the previous 6.

Very average services, high prices.

With its medium range, low power and too-limited speed, but good utility capabilities, this Master E-Tech Electric is made above all for last mile deliveries in urban or pre-urban areas. In terms of prices, this Master is still an expensive vehicle. From €55,000 excluding tax for the 3.1 tonne Master L1H1, €59,800 excluding tax for the 3.5 tonne L2H2 and up to €60,700 excluding tax for the 3.5 tonne Large L3H2. These prices are generally those of large electric vans, such as the Ford E-Transit (from €57,655 excluding tax for an L2H2). But the latter is much more efficient, more modern and better equipped. In any case, this very disappointing Master Electric will have to last quite a while before we see the successor arrive in 2024.

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