|The Mégane E85. Click to enlarge.|
Renault has introduced its first bioethanol (E85) flex-fuel cars on the European market: the Mégane Hatch and Sport Tourer. The French release for the E85 versions of Mégane Hatch and Mégane Sport Tourer is scheduled for late June 2007, although dealers have already begun taking orders.
The E85 Méganes use a 105 hp (78 kW) 1.6-liter 16v engine that has been modified to enable it to adapt automatically to the type of fuel. Main upgrades were to the fuel tank, injection system and combustion chamber.
|The 1.6-liter engine delivers higher performance on E85 blends. Click to enlarge.|
Running on E85, the Mégane Hatch offers combined cycle fuel consumption of 9.7 l/100km (24 mpg US), with net CO2 emissions of 158 g/km. Running on gasoline, fuel consumption drops to 7.2 l/100km combined (33 mpg US), with an increase in CO2 emissions to 170 g/km.
Renault developed the new vehicles with input from expertise developed in Brazil, where Renault has been selling FlexFuel versions of Clio and Mégane, running on bioethanol E100, since 2004.
France has instituted tax incentives for clean vehicles, with full exemption from the company car tax over eight quarters for passenger cars registered after January 2007, and partial or total exemption (depending on the region) from regional vehicle registration taxes for cars running on bioethanol E85.
Renault terms biofuels one of the most effective solutions in the long-term quest for control over CO2 emissions. Biofuels are also economically effective, the automaker points out, because the cost of developing compatible engines is reasonable, and the cars therefore affordable.