She’s electric, can I be electric too ?
We featured the original Master Z.E. Electric van on our June 2018 front cover, when a 50 mile electric range for a large van was as good as it got. Fast forward to June 2022 & we had a chance to drive the revamped Master electric, now with the moniker of Master E-TECH. Importantly, the new van has a 52kWh battery so the range has more than doubled. Here’s how we got on.
What the new Master Z.E. brings now is a large van payload of 1,128kg, with an electric range of 125 miles, so it now offers greater appeal to those who need a large van with decent electric mileage
Two panel vans; Medium MM35 E-Tech 52kWh Advance or Long LM35 E-Tech 52kWh Advance. Plus two chassis cabs; Medium ML35 E-Tech 52kWh Start or Long LL35 E-Tech 52kWh Start. And finally one platform cab Long LL35 E-Tech 52kWh Start. All are front-wheel drive.
Conversions wise, the 30 + UK Renault Pro+ network are all able to facilitate your conversion requests from flat loader to cherry picker & back again.
New Renault Master E-Tech van gain a brand new 52 kWh battery, expanding the WLTP driving range up to 125 miles
Plug in at home on a single-phase 7.4 kW AC charger & you’ll get an 80% charge in 5 hours. Factor in the on board 22 kW DC charger & if you plug in away from home, you’ll recover 31 miles of range (WLTP) in just 45 minutes.
The Master E-TECH’s 52kWh battery is mounted where the dCi-powered Master’s gearbox would be, forwards & below the load floor. This means that the E-TECH has the same access height as the Master dCi, while the load volume in the delivery van version is unchanged.
Innovative interior touches include Renault’s ‘Easy Shelf’ to provide additional workspace or lunch break area. An ‘Easy Life’ drawer, induction smartphone charger & tablet docking station. You also get 2 cup holders on the centre console, an armrest, power front windows, manual height adjustable & lumbar adjustment for the drivers seat, twin door pockets, a height adjustable steering wheel & a two passenger bench seat.
Standard equipment includes R-LINK Evolution with TomTom SatNav, a DAB radio with Bluetooth & USB connectivity, an ECO mode function, a 12v power socket, an external side charging socket & a pre-heating function. Manual air-con is fitted as well.
Master sits on 16″ steel wheels, & features LED daytime running lights. Twin 270 degree opening rear doors are unglazed & you get a sheet metal left side sliding door.
Master comes with a full panelled bulkhead, a resinated wood floor, half height side ply panels, 10 anchorage points & LED cargo area lighting.
The E-TECH scores highly here with ESP, a front passenger air bag with driver side airbags. ADAS is also fitted & this includes Lane Departure Warning, Rear Parking Assistance, Reversing Camera, Side Wind Assist & Active Emergency Braking System. There’s also a Speed Limiter fitted allowing a top speed of 55mph only.
The 57kW 76hp electric motor doesn’t have a top speed as you’re limited to 55mph.
Vehicle. 3 years: unlimited the 2 first years, then limited to 100,000 miles, whichever comes first
Drive train. 4 years: unlimited the 2 first years, then limited to 100,000 miles, whichever comes first
Battery (Buy). The battery is covered for 5 years / 62,000 miles T&Cs include a guaranteed level of performance (70%)
Anti Corrosion Warranty. 12 years
Paintwork. 3 years
The Master E-TECH starts with a chime from the dashboard & a green ‘GO’ light in the middle of the speedometer. Put the van into drive from neutral & you move silently away. On a test route around Chantilly in Northern France, the E-Tech performed admirably. We were driving laden with a 300kg load in the rear & the Master handled really well as we took in a series of dual-carriageways & single lanes & roundabouts. Any van driver who use’s their vehicle for short deliveries will love the E-TECH. No gear change make’s for relaxing driving & in town, the Master E-TECH was very relaxing & easy to drive.
There’s plenty of torque between 30-50mph, although in ECO mode, a simple dash board button, this is definitely lacking. Cabin noise seems more noticeable than in the diesel Master, but that’s because there’s no diesel engine hum. Inevitably noise does enter the cabin & it’s from the tyres on the road & outside wind noise. With the radio on though, it’s not that intrusive.
Ride wise, the electric Master was more comfortable over poor road surfaces than the smaller Kangoo E-TECH & when your behind the wheel, the ML35 feels light & nimble & not at all large.
Increased 125 mile range gives Renault a much needed boost in range. Light & easy to drive. Well equipped. Comfortable in the cabin. Fifteen model choices. Excellent payload.
Renault have chosen a smaller battery than some competitors. This does increase payload, but it does decrease range. Some of the on board tech & fittings are starting to look & feel dated.
Whilst the Master E-TECH will only appeal to those driving short distances, most probably in urban areas, within an industrial area, or public sector location, such as a large NHS Trust, it is nonetheless fantastic to see another improved large electric van enter the marketplace. Coupling a decent payload with a high battery range, was always going to be more difficult for CV’s than for passenger cars & so it has proved to be. This is the second take on a large EV van for Renault & as time passes & battery development moves on, range will inevitably improve. For now anyway, 90 Winter miles or 125 Summer miles is a pretty decent return.
POWER (hp/kw ) 76/57
TORQUE (Nm) 225
RANGE (MILES WLTP) 125
TOP SPEED (mph) 55