August 30, 2017 at 09:04 #39424
I’ve had my ZOE since October last year, it was a year old ex-demo, its a great car to drive, and aside from the repairs and current charging issues, I’ve enjoyed having the vehicle. Earlier this year, I had to have the PEC unit replaced (thankfully under warranty – the cost of that unit (£5k for the part, total cost for the work ~£7k) makes me question owning one of these vehicles after the warranty runs out!).
For the past four weeks I’ve had the vehicle back at the dealers, as I’ve had a number of charging problems with CYC public charging posts. I went to three different charging points, on three different charging posts, at two different car parks, owned by two different councils, and was unable to charge at any of them; the first two posts were the same type of charge post – a socket on either side with a plastic flap covering them, the third was a single socket with a lockable metal door that unlocks when you swipe the CYC card. In all instances the vehicle drew a small amount of charge as part of the on-going checks / “Ready to charge” as it says on the post, but cut out after 5 – 10 seconds (Video showing what happens on YouTube). In the first two instances, the dashboard went blank, and the charge post reported that charging had stopped. The third post, which I have used successfully in the past, went red after a few seconds, with an error along the lines of “power limit exceeded”, and the vehicle had a red error on the dash stating (along the lines of) power had been cut (it wasn’t the Battery Charging Impossible error or anything like that). Between moving the car from the first to the second charge post, a (non-Zoe) EV plugged into the first one, and charged without issue (confirmed by speaking to the driver). I also called CYC to check there was no issue with my CYC account.
I had the vehicle recovered to the dealer, initially all they could find was the fault from the third charging attempt which according to them indicated the error was with the charge post; and the vehicle was charging at their charge point without issue. They took my vehicle and another ZOE to one of the other charge points, found my vehicle didn’t charge, but theirs did. According to my CYC logs, they also tried the vehicle on a fourth point on one of the same posts, and that didn’t work either. They tried a cable swap, and this made no difference. This allowed them to fault the vehicle, and replace (I believe) the charging port on the car. Just under three weeks later I took the car back.
The next day, I went back to those same three charge points, and exactly the same thing happened, so I took the vehicle back to the dealer. One minor difference, was I left the car plugged in for a longer period of time at one post, and every now and then it would keep retrying, and stopping again.
The dealer first tried the car on their charge post, and one other public charge post, and didn’t find any issue; after a few more days they were able to take my vehicle and their vehicle to two of the posts where I was having issues: neither vehicle would charge. I’ve spoken to CYC, and they confirmed the posts are working, communicating and even confirmed the last time they were used successfully for three of the four posts (the one which went red and reported an error, the last event they had was a start/stop event, so couldn’t confirm, but I’m waiting to hear more from them). They seemed quite alarmed that a Renault dealer was passing blame to their posts.
I am now in a situation where the dealer believes the fault is with the charge posts. As a consumer, I don’t accept this, because other vehicles are using those posts, and CYC are reporting they are working.
I’ve asked the dealer if there is a known issue with Renault ZOEs given neither my vehicle or theirs would work at these working charge posts, and they have said they will check with Renault UK. I’ve asked my Customer Service contact and Renault UK the same question, and they have advised they are not technical and that the dealer could answer that question.
I’ve asked how they were able to fault the vehicle a few weeks ago, yet are not able to fault it now (I am suspecting they might not have bothered taking their own vehicle to the charge post the first time, but have just claimed they did; given that this is the same post they now say their car won’t charge at either), but because they replaced a part and I took the vehicle back, this is now a ‘new case’, and previously they didn’t take much documentary evidence of their investigations.
I’ve asked why non-Zoe vehicles have charged, and they cannot answer that.
I’ve raised the issue with the finance company, who defer to their answers of a) we have 8 weeks to respond and b) we know the manufacturer are looking into this for you
I am now deeply worried that I’m going to be given a vehicle back which I cannot reliably use. Each charging post is going to be a roll of the dice as to if it will work, which means I either need to accept that the range is 50% of what it says, so I can always charge at home, or I need to continually look at using ZE assist to recover the vehicle. Despite really enjoying driving the car, I’m starting to think I should have looked at a different manufacturer if it won’t work at charge posts that are known to work.
Its only because I’ve had this issue three times in a row that I took the vehicle in, but looking back on my charging history, I’ve had this same situation happen before (but because it was a one off at a charge point I wouldn’t normally use, I wrote it off as the charger) and to see another car using the charge post shortly afterwards (I’ve obviously experienced issues where I know its the charge post – charge post displaying an error / red light / or the “Battery Charging Impossible” message).
Has anyone else experienced this issue of charging cutting out after a few seconds while its doing its on-going checks? The fact the third post (which was a different type of post) threw an error indicating that power limit had been exceeded, makes me think that the car is trying to draw too much power for some posts and the posts are cutting it off (and that the other posts just don’t display the error message). Also, does anyone have any tips for how to deal with being stuck in the middle of Dealer/Renault/RCI finance (and potentially CYC). Unfortunately I’ve had the vehicle for more than 6 months, so rejecting the vehicle seems to be out. I’m not sure how I can move this forward, and I’m not sure what to do with a vehicle where I don’t know if I can charge it at a public post.
MichaelAugust 31, 2017 at 08:27 #39616
I had a similar issue with an Engenie charger that was installed locally. My Zoe would occasionally charge on it, but most times not. I contacted the company, who of course said that the problem must be the car, as other cars were charging fine. I mentioned that in over 90% of similar cases, the problem came down to poor earthing of the charger (which can change depending on weather). The ZOE is particularly picky about earthing, whereas other cars are more lenient.
Eventually, Engenie sent an engineer to check the earth and found a problem with the installation, which was eventually fixed. My ZOE charges every time now.
If you buy a suitable OBD2 dongle and run the CanZE app http://canze.fisch.lu/ , you can get a reading for the charger’s earth impedance – it should be comfortably below 150 ohms. The Engenie charger mentioned above now shows 38 ohms.September 1, 2017 at 09:07 #39653
Andyfras, I don’t suppose anyone can explain how the Earth impedance is measured by Zoe, short of a Renault laptop, and diagnostic port?
I’m fitting an earth spike at home in desperation re the BCI, and was surprised to read how much RF is being transmitted, any downside to disconnecting the power to the TX? Charge master never returned my call once they discovered that CP was out of warranty and I appeared to know an Amp from a Volt.ThanksSeptember 1, 2017 at 15:53 #39670
Don’t know about all the specifics, but as Andyfras says, canZE can show you the earth impedance that Zoe is detecting – this would surely be a really good start in diagnosing whether it’s the car or the charging station.September 1, 2017 at 17:10 #39671
Thanks takerhandy, I’ll have another look, couldn’t find any reference to Earth, on first looking. Just been charged £1/ metre for Earth cable, copper up, pound down?September 4, 2017 at 15:26 #39722
The ‘earth’ feature in CanZE is quite new – and in the charging menu IIRC. Make sure your app is up to date of course.
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