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E-TECH technology - a unique and revolutionary solution for hybrid cars

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

The need for lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, increasingly stringent

anti-pollution standards and new consumer expectations are making electrification essential. As a pioneer and expert in electric mobility, Groupe Renault is committed to reach zero CO2 impact by 2050 in Europe - in the short term, by 2030, we aim at reducing by 50% our CO2 emissions in use, compared to 2010.

For more than 10 years, the Group has garnered expertise in electric vehicles that translates into more dynamic and efficient hybrid motors. As a result, Groupe Renault’s engineers have developed a revolutionary solution for a hybrid range with more than 150 patents: E-TECH technology. It is based on a hybrid “series-parallel” architecture to ensure the widest range of combinations of engine operations and the best CO2 gains when on the road. 

This hybrid technology also taps into the extensive knowledge base of the Renault DP World F1 Team. Production model hybrids share and benefit from technology originally developed for F1 racing. Bridges between the racing world and production vehicles fall into two main categories: energy use and recovery and the use of an innovative multi-mode dog gearbox, for the first time in a production vehicle.

The Renault E-TECH Hybrid engine powertrain architecture is based on similar foundations to that of the Renault DP World F1 Team's cars: a combustion engine combined with two electric motors and a central battery. This architecture is paired with a multi-mode dog gearbox. When it accompanies electric motors, the clutch-less gearbox allows a 100% electric start. This significantly reduces gaps in acceleration during gear changes, which enhances driving comfort and performance while accelerating. 

Responsiveness and energy optimisation

The combination of two electric motors, an innovative multi-mode gearbox and a combustion engine offers a wide variety of drive modes: 

  • 100% electric starting: As the gearbox is clutch-free, the combustion engine is not used when starting the car; therefore, E-TECH hybrid vehicles are always set in motion by the primary electric motor. 

  • Automatic adaptation to driving situations: The E-TECH technology is based on a series-parallel architecture allowing it to combine the advantages of the different types of hybridisation possible (series, parallel and series-parallel). The engines can operate independently or in concert by directing their power to the wheels or to the battery. The powertrain manages its engines and their supply according to acceleration and power requirements, as well as battery regeneration opportunities. This management is carried out according to 15 operating combinations of the various engines and the gears engaged on the gearbox.

In use, the change from one mode to another is barely noticeable and does not require any input from the driver. The E-TECH system automatically chooses the most appropriate mode for the situation in order to optimise emissions and fuel use, while guaranteeing responsive, enjoyable driving.

Energy regeneration and regenerative braking

E-TECH technology optimises energy use during both slowing and braking.

  • Battery regeneration during deceleration: when the driver lifts their foot off the accelerator pedal and the gear stick is in ‘Drive’, the primary electric motor functions as a generator. It recovers kinetic energy produced by the deceleration and turns it into electrical energy that is sent back to the battery.

  • Mode “B”: to recover more energy, the gear stick can be put in ‘Brake’ (B) mode; this increases regeneration to the level allowed by the battery's storage capacity, up to an idling speed of about 7 kph.

  • Regenerative braking: when the driver depresses the brake pedals, the braking process is triggered electrically, with additional mechanical braking from the brake pads if necessary. Here, too, the electric motor provides additional braking, recovering excess energy and returning it to the battery – while the battery's storage capacity allows.

Thanks to all these features, Renault models using E-TECH technology are highly responsive for improved driving pleasure, they optimise energy consumption and provide optimal battery recharge features that engage while the car is slowing and braking, increasing the overall driving performance.

On the Romanian market, CLIO E-TECH HYBRID and RENAULT CAPTUR E-TECH PLUG-IN HYBRID are available starting November 2020 as Renault Arkana E-TECH Hybrid and Captur E-TECH Hybrid  will be marketed in the first half of 2021.


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