Test – Renault Master E-Tech Electric (2022): the same electric van as before, but it goes further
The Renault Master E-Tech Electric is actually a Master ZE with a larger capacity battery. And if he can now go even further, that is by no means a real novelty. It’s even a bit 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 him change his name shows greater autonomy but does not benefit from any other novelty. Dashboard, instruments, controls and equipment are those of the “old” Master ZE. The same goes for mechanics. Same engine and power, you have to be content with 57 kW or 76 hp, and still no energy recovery except when braking and decelerating.
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 to choose from. The first is a 7.4kW single-phase charger, the second is a 22kW DC charger. The first is made for household refills. It takes about ten hours to “fill up” at a conventional socket. A 7.4 kW wall box charges the battery to 80% in 5 hours. The 22 kW DC charger can cover 50 kilometers in 45 minutes at a public terminal.
speed too limited
The few kilometers driven at the wheel of this new Renault Master E-Tech Electric confirm what we already knew. It drives very easily, has a good driving position and excellent all-round visibility, and behaves very well on the road. Planted well on its supports, it is very stable. The accelerations are clear and open and the increase in speed is very fast. Unfortunately, this observation is compromised by a top speed limit of 80 km/h for the 3.5 tonne version. If this maximum speed is not a problem in built-up areas, it is different outside of conurbations. Driving in a speed lane is a source of stress as merging into traffic can prove dangerous. And if you find yourself behind a truck traveling at 75 km/h, stay there!
From 8 to 15 m³ usable volume
On the trim level, a single trim level called Comfort. Central locking is also standard, as is the glove compartment that can be opened like a drawer, the Bluetooth car radio and the electrically heated exterior mirrors. For the rest, and that’s a lot, you’ll have to check out the options for manual air conditioning (€1,900 excl. VAT), R-Link Evolution with DAB radio and navigation (€790 excl. VAT) or cruise control/speed limiter (€250 without VAT). This Master is equipped with new driving aids, such as “Side Wind Assist”, the automatic stabilization of the vehicle in cross winds. It comes as standard, as does the automatic switching on of the lights and windscreen wipers or the front and rear parking sensors. However, the rear camera, the image of which is reflected on the screen on the windshield, is an option that is very useful on these large-scale vehicles.
We are moving with an electric van: a lot of work!
This Master E-Tech Electric maintains its utility qualities without any changes compared to the thermal versions. Four vans are offered, available in three lengths (L1, L2, L3) and two heights (H1 and H2). These dimensions offer usable volumes from 8 m³ for the small L1H1 to 15 m³ for the large L3H2. Two permissible total weights are also on the program, 3.1 t. and 3.5 tons, with a heavy version of 3.8 tons expected in some time. Also available as a chassis and cab in L2 and L3, the Master allows for multiple conversions to accommodate a flatbed, tipper or large volume box which can then hold up to 20m³. The Master Electric range has therefore been expanded and now includes 15 versions compared to 6 before.
Very average services, high prices
With its average autonomy, its low power and its too limited speed but its good useful capacities, this Master E-Tech Electric is particularly suitable for last kilometer deliveries in urban or suburban areas. In terms of price, this Master remains an expensive vehicle. Out of €55,000 excluding tax for the 3.1 ton Master L1H1, €59,800 excluding tax for the 3.5 ton L2H2 and up to €60,700 excluding tax for the large 3.5 ton L3H2. These prices are typically the same as large electric vans like the Ford E-Transit (starting at €57,655 excluding taxes for an L2H2). However, the latter is much more efficient, modern and better equipped. This very disappointing Master Electric will definitely have to hold out for quite a while before its 2024 successor arrives.