Renault Australia puts hand up for Captur plug-in hybrid

Renault has announced its intent to bring more electrified models to market by 2020, and the French automaker’s Australian office has its hand up for an electron-munching SUV

Renault Kze Driving Jpg

Renault announced this week that it would be pushing the accelerator on its electrification plans, with at least three new electrified models set to roll into Renault showrooms around the end of this decade.

What’s more, the French automaker went to lengths to point out that unlike most EVs or PHEVs to date, its incoming alternative energy options will be “affordable”, with that word appearing no less than five times in Renault’s press release.

The company already sells the Zoe all-electric city car, which went on local retail sale just a few months ago, but that car is set to be joined by a new A-segment crossover dubbed the K-ZE. Slightly bigger, riding taller and looking more rugged than the Zoe, the K-ZE will offer 250km of range on a single charge and will launch first in China next year before spreading into other markets.

It’ll be joined by plug-in hybrid variants of the Megane and the next-generation Captur in 2020, while the next-gen Clio will gain a conventional hybrid option around the same time. Specific technical details of those cars have yet to be announced, however Renault says it will phase in the electrified powertrains for those models either during a full-model change (Captur and Clio) or a to coincide with a range update (Megane).

Unfortunately, if you were intrigued by the idea of parking a Zoe-style battery electric in your garage, we have bad news: it’s not likely to come our way.

“For us, obviously SUV is the way of the future with electric,” said Renault Australia spokesperson Elena Woods, “but we’re not sure with the size of this SUV - because it’s A-segment - that it’s well-suited to Australia.”

“We’ll review it further, but at the moment we believe the technology would be better suited to a larger SUV for this country.”

However the plug-in hybrid version of the Captur, which likely won’t be able to touch the K-ZE’s 250km EV range, but would boast the flexibility to run on petrol for longer journeys, is something the company is keeping a keen eye on for our market.

“For the PHEVs, we’re looking at the version of the Captur,” Woods confirmed. “At the moment the only alternative powertrain we’d be considering of those would be the plug-in version.”


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