Interview: France’s first electric Renault Mégane taxi?
At less than 25 years old, Yoann Gaudence did not choose a Renault Mégane for his taxi job in Vienne by chance. As a fan of the Alpine brand and Formula 1, he fell in love with this car, especially the red one. What is more surprising, however, is the switch to electric when he first thought of buying a diesel model. Portrait.
Megane EV60 Super Charge
The model chosen by Yoann Gaudence, appearing on Losange’s website on August 9, 2022, starting from 43,200 euros (bonus not deducted and without options), is developed under the precise name “ Renault Megane e-Tech EV60 220hp Super Charge Techno “.
This means that his electric car already has the lithium-ion battery available today with the highest energy capacity for this model. Its usable 60 kWh, compared to 40 kWh for the entry-level class, allow the manufacturer to communicate a range of 450 km in the WLTP mixed cycle.
This model is also the most powerful, with a wound-rotor synchronous motor that develops not 96 kW or 130 hp, but 160 kW (220 hp) for a maximum torque of 300 Nm. super charge indicates that the charging power on a fast terminal on paper can be up to 130 kW of power. But also that the machine received a 7.4 kW AC charger, in contrast to the Optimum Charge version with a 22 kW device.
The techno finish is mid-range. Among other things, it brings 20-inch alloy wheels, glazing with a chrome finish, as well as rear tinting and LED lights. A fiery red metallic paint job is a €850 option.
From the STMG ferry to the taxi seat
At almost 25, Yoann Gaudence has been a taxi driver for less than a year. Perhaps he is the first in his profession to opt for an electric Renault Mégane. Otherwise he would probably be the youngest.
In addition to the fully autonomous models that are circulating more or less experimentally, are there Renault Zoé taxis in France? What about electric kangoos? Not sure. Our interlocutor could be one of the first to offer races in an electric Renault with a lithium-ion battery.
” Before I became a taxi driver, I navigated left and right. In any case, you must be at least 21 years old to practice this profession. My STMG Abitur was more intended for the human resources department. I spent time in college ‘ he comments.
” I am the son and grandson of a truck driver. Which certainly explains why I love street jobs. I really felt it when I became an ambulance assistant. I’ve talked to taxi drivers a lot. Then I passed the special permit ‘ he adds.
A very well made French car
Yoann Gaudence did not begin his career with an electric vehicle. ” I started with a Peugeot 508 130hp diesel which I was quite disappointed with. At Elektro I was just trying to spot an E-208 which is not compatible with the taxi business in France. I had previously had a red Mégane for my private travels, which I regretted greatly ‘ he compares.
” I had stayed in touch with the Renault dealer. He invited me to discover the new generation of this model. I found her really beautiful. And when I saw it in red, I fell in love. I first thought of buying it in diesel, but it was electric. I inquired to find out if she could agree to the taxi job. And I signed for a copy that I received a few days ago ‘ he reports.
” I wanted to drive in a very well made French car. And then the fuel prices are too high. It’s also partly thanks to Automobile Propre and all the advice in the articles that I was able to switch to electric “, he adds.
Full of energy at Tesla
” The taxi trade is very diverse. In the city, it’s possible to run many small errands in a day without adding up a large daily mileage. I work in the country. From here I regularly accompany people to take them from home to the hospital or to the shops. I also pick up travelers at the train station to drop them off at the hotel. I often drop the kids off at daycare at the same time every day ‘ Yoann Gaudence elaborates.
” And then I have last-minute transports, sometimes with long journeys. Since I started, my furthest one-way trip has been 550km to drop off one person north of the Paris region. For large amplitudes I put my daily average in a range of 350-450 km ‘ he calculates.
” I charge the car every night at home using a 7 kW wall box. I’ve already experienced sudden stress while attending to a last minute customer when I was down to 15% battery life. But I am fortunate to have a Tesla station near my home that recently opened in Châtellerault with 16 steles. So I have 40% capacity back in 20 minutes ‘ he testifies.
The coffee offered to customers during possible refills
” Many taxi drivers are afraid of electric cars. Charging is so quick and the terminals are intuitive to use. I’m as passionate about technology as I am about cars and I love my job as a taxi driver ’ pleads Yoann Gaudence.
” I chat a lot with other drivers. For some, a car like mine is a no-go. First, by citing a bad reputation for the Renaults. And then because it’s electric. But others think about it and remember the 120 euros to fill up diesel every 2-3 days when I spend between 9 and 12 euros for 400 km ‘ he disagrees.
” There are now terminals everywhere on my travels and I have a consumption of 13.5-14 kWh/100 km. When I stop running for 15-20 minutes to recharge, I offer my clients coffee. You appreciate this attention. However, even with a diesel car, I would stop just as often to stretch my legs and rest my sight ‘ he assures.
A car that challenges
” Outwardly, the new Mégane challenges and people turn their heads as it walks. The color red attracts. There is also the new logo. The other taxis and paramedics are curious and want to find out more about the car. When one of my customers noticed the large screen, he was amazed. He thought he was in a Tesla and Renault couldn’t offer such devices with internet access ‘, emphasizes Yoann Gaudence.
” From the outside, the Mégane might seem a bit too compact, even small. This is no longer the case when boarding. You will find that the space is generous. With its 440 liters, the trunk might be a bit tight, but I can fit 3 large suitcases in it. “, he continues.
” It’s a beautiful car. The passengers sit comfortably in them, including the elderly who I carry for medical reasons, because the seats are at the right height. It’s much better than the Peugeot 508 and the comfort is much better. When they realize that it is an electric car, they are very surprised ‘ he was almost joking.
” In general, customers like young taxis that are modern. After thoroughly enjoying driving the Mégane, a lady in her 60’s told me that her next car would be electric. I am often asked the same questions: why are there no gears to shift? Why is the car quiet? How is it charged? » reveals Yoann Gaudence.
” Today I only see positive things about using the electric Mégane for my taxi business. Maybe I have negative points to rise after a long time of use he reflects.
” Oh yes, the search for charging points is not fine enough. For example, when I ask about fast terminals, I don’t just find Ionity or Tesla stations. I will also have these installed in the parking garages of Lidl or Ikea stores. They are much less interesting to me and I would like the option of not getting them in the selection returned by the application “, he hopes.
It’s vacation time for our interlocutor. He will discover his electric Renault Mégane even more by making long personal trips. By going specifically to the Basque Country and the Paris region. This will stand him in good stead when he returns to his professional activity.
Automobile Propre and I would like to thank Yoann Gaudence very much for his responsiveness, availability, sympathy and the time he gave us. We wish him happy holidays and continue to live out his taxi job in an electric car.