the same electric van as before, but that goes further

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

Not convincing this new Renault Master E-Tech Electric… Announced as a novelty, it’s just a Renault Master ZE with a new battery. What makes it change its name, presents greater autonomy, but does not benefit from any other novelty. Panel, instrumentation, controls and equipment are from the “old” Master ZE. Same for mechanics. Same engine and same horsepower, you have to settle for 57 kW or 76 horsepower, and still no energy recovery other than braking and deceleration.

The new battery has a capacity of 52 kWh and offers a range of around 200 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. Two chargers are 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” into a conventional outlet. Through a 7.4 kW Wallbox, the battery will be recharged to 80% in 5 hours. As for the 22 kW DC charger, it can recover 50 kilometers in 45 minutes at a public terminal.

very limited speed

The few kilometers driven behind the wheel of this new Renault Master E-Tech Electric confirm what we already knew. It drives very easily, with a good driving position and excellent overview, and behaves 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-ton version. If in the city this maximum speed is not a problem, it is different outside the agglomeration. Taking a speed lane is a source of stress, as entering traffic can prove 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 trim level called Comfort. Central locking is standard, as is the glove compartment that opens like a drawer, the Bluetooth car radio or the electric heated mirrors. For the rest, and that’s a lot, you’ll have to go through the options of manual air conditioning (€1,900 excl. VAT), R-Link Evolution with DAB radio and navigation (€790 excl. taxes). This Master is equipped with new driving aids, such as the “Side Wind Assist”, which is the automatic stabilization of the vehicle in case of side wind. It is standard, as is the automatic activation of the lights and windshield wipers or the front and rear parking aids. The rear camera with the image reflected on the screen placed on the windshield, very useful in these large-panel vehicles, is however an option.

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This Master E-Tech Electric retains its utility 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 useful volumes ranging from 8 m³ for the small L1H1 to 15 m³ for the large L3H2. Two GVWs are also on the menu, 3.1 t. and 3.5 tons, expecting a 3.8-ton heavy version at some point. The Master is also available as a chassis and floor cabin, in L2 and L3, allowing multiple transformations to accommodate a flatbed, a tipper or a large volume box, accepting up to 20 m³. The Master Electric offer has therefore been extended and now has 15 versions compared to 6 previously.

Very average services, high prices

With its average autonomy, its low power and its very limited speed, but its 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 pricing, this Master remains an expensive vehicle. From €55,000 tax-free for the 3.1-ton Master L1H1, €59,800 tax-free for the 3.5-tonne L2H2 and up to €60,700 tax-free for the 3.5-ton 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. This very disappointing Master Electric, however, will have to last quite a while before seeing its successor arrive in 2024.

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