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The Cléon plant already manufactures the 160 kW electric motor for the Renault Mégane E-Tech

The most powerful electric motor of the two that can propel the new Renault Mégane E-Tech will be manufactured in the French Cléon plant, near Rouen, where most of the engines for the brand’s electric cars will be produced. In this case it is an externally excited synchronous motor of 160 kW of power (214 CV) that incorporates electromagnetic windings in its rotor instead of permanent rare-earth magnets.

Renault wants to focus most of the production of its future electric cars, which are likely to be marketed under a different business line than combustion, in France. The Douai plant, in the north of France, where the Renault Mégane E-Tech is currently assembled, will receive most of its components from nearby facilities, and, to a greater extent, located in France itself. This is not the case with the gearbox, which in this case will be manufactured in Seville next to the transmission of the Austral.

For this reason, Renault has already made the necessary modifications at its Douai plant. The objective was to update and modernize the production lines not only for the compact, but also for future electric models that are arriving on the market, which will be quite a few in the coming years, as set out in the brand’s strategic plans.

adaptation-factory-douai-renault-megane-etech_portada
Renault has already made the necessary modifications at its Douai plant to assemble the electric Mégane E-Tech.

The transformation of the Cléon plant

A large part of the electric motors will be produced at Cléon. The transition to electric power at this historic engine and gearbox factory, opened in 1958, has already begun. Since 2015 it has been producing blocks for the Zoe, the Twingo, the Kangoo and the Master. In 2021, of the 934,459 engines produced there, 34% were electric.

Now, that transformation is accelerated with the inauguration of the ‘ePT-160kW’ production lines, a 160 kW electric motor, which is used in the most powerful version and with the largest battery of the Mégane E-Tech. A propellant that will also be present in the new Scénic, which is expected from 2023.

The electric motor It has been optimized compared to previous versions. Its size has been reduced compared to the Zoe and its weight is 10% less. As in this one, it is about an externally excited wound-rotor synchronous motor which incorporates electromagnetic windings in its rotor instead of rare-earth permanent magnets, which makes it more economical, more sustainable and, according to Renault, more efficient. Their advantage is that they allow to control the power of the magnet that is created in the rotor and therefore torque requirements at all timeswhich makes them increase their performance.

Renault Megane E-Tech electric electric motor
The externally excited wound-rotor synchronous electric motor of the Renault Mégane E-Tech incorporates electromagnetic windings in its rotor instead of rare-earth permanent magnets, which makes it more economical, more sustainable and more efficient.

To increase the production of electric motors (and hybrids) at Cléon, Renault has invested there €620 million since 2018. 8,000 m² of its production area have been renovated to house the new ePT-160 kW manufacturing lines. The workshop includes four assembly lines Y two winding lines, with a production capacity of 120,000 engines per year. But thanks to its flexibility of the installation, Renault has already planned an increase in production up to the 240,000 units per year.

Starting in 2024, Renault will produce a new smaller electric motor 100kW (134 CV) of power, destined to propel the iconic R5 in its electric return to the French manufacturer’s catalog. By that date, Cléon will be able to produce 500,000 electric motors a year (and just over 500,000 hybrids). In 2027, a new 200 kW engine (268 CV) of new generation, developed in association with Valeo and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive, which does not require rare earths.

It should be noted that an important mechanical part of the Mégane E-Tech, such as the reducer, will be manufactured in Seville, together with the Austral hybrid’s gearbox. It must be remembered that electric cars do not usually include a gearbox but rather a transmission that reduces the rotation of the motor to transmit it to the wheels.

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