Charging

Zoe State of Charge Display (Image: Renault)
Zoe State of Charge Display (Image: Renault)

Charging Methods

The Zoe has three methods of charging, considered here in terms of increasing cost and complexity but reducing charging time:

  1. Standard Charge (typically at home)
  2. Fast Charge (public charge station)
  3. Rapid Charge (high power public charge station)

There is no standard terminology applied to these different systems, so anything above a standard charge is often colloquially known as ‘fast charging’, whereas sometimes a distinction is made between ‘fast’ charging (anything above a typical domestic supply) and ‘quick’ or ‘rapid’ charging (very high power, at typically about 400V). The terminology used here is consistent with that used by Renault on English language websites.

Standard Charge

Renault Fluence Charging From a Wallbox (Image: I. Langsdon/EPA)
Renault Fluence Charging From a Wallbox (Image: I. Langsdon/EPA)

The most common method of charging by far is by plugging into a recharging point at home, typically in a garage. Usually this is done via a dedicated Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) wall box, but can be done occasionally using a charge cable plugged into a standard domestic socket.

Renault Kangoo Charging From a Standard Socket (Image: Reuters)
Renault Kangoo Charging From a Standard Socket (Image: Reuters)

In Europe a standard charge would use 3-4kW power from a standard single-phase 230V grid supply. As well as home chargers, this would also be applicable to some public charge stations. A charge would typically take 6-11 hours, though where higher power is available (say 7kW) this could be as low as 3 hours.

Fast Charge

Renault Zoe Fast Charging (Image: Renault)
Renault Zoe Fast Charging (Image: Renault)

Some public charge stations can supply higher power by making use of a three-phase supply. They can provide up to 22kW and so charging time is reduced to about an hour.

Rapid Charge

Renault Zoe Quick Charging (Image: Renault)
Renault Zoe Quick Charging (Image: Renault)

Some dedicated and specialised public charge stations can supply up to 43kW from a three-phase supply (e.g. Ecotricity charge points at motorway service stations and IKEA outlets). Charge time is reduced to about half an hour if the ZOE has the Rapid charge option, but because of the difficulty of completely filling a battery at high speed this is typically for an 80% charge.

Charging Times

To understand how charging times come about we need to consider some basic electrical theory, as follows:

  • Power (Watts) = Current (Amps) x Voltage (V)
  • Charge Time (hours) = Battery Capacity (kWh) / Power (kW)

In a three-phase system the power is simply three times the single-phase power. In Europe the Voltage is the standard supply voltage of 230V – this is true for our purposes whether it’s a domestic single-phase supply (as used in the home) or the phase voltage of a commercial three-phase supply (as used in a public fast charge station).

The nominal battery capacity of the Zoe is 22kWh. Using the various power options gives us a table as follows:

Charging TypePhasesCurrent (A)Voltage (V)Power (kW)Charge Time (hours)
Domestic socket1102302.39.5
Wall charger - standard1162303.76.0
Wall charger - high power1322307.43.0
Fast charger332230221.0
Rapid charger363400430.5

Some points to note:

  1. All values are approximate.
  2. All systems are assumed perfect, in fact power loss in the charging process means that charge times will be longer than these theoretical values, by perhaps 10%.
  3. The rapid charge time of half an hour is for about 80% capacity, as discussed above, because the charging process must slow down as the battery fills up.

Connectors and Cables

The charging point for the Zoe is at the front, in the nose under a flap that carries the main Renault logo. The flap can be opened via a switch on the dashboard or via a button on the remote control keycard. This reveals the port, with a ‘Z.E.’ (Zero Emissions) logo illuminated in blue above it. The port has a dust cap that then needs to be opened before a charging cable can be connected.

Zoe Charging Port Type 2 Socket (Image: Michelin/YouTube)
Zoe Charging Port Type 2 Socket (Image: Michelin/YouTube)

The connector is known as a Type 2; however, the design was originally created by Mennekes (a developer of the German standards for charging couplers) so the connector is often referred to colloquially as a ‘Mennekes’, or sometimes ‘Mennekes Type 2’.

Zoe Charging Port with Type 2 Plug Inserted (Image: Renault)
Zoe Charging Port with Type 2 Plug Inserted (Image: Renault)

The Type 2 is an advanced design, allowing for AC and DC charging, at high power, in the same connector. The connector itself is also typically more compact than competing standards.

Renault Z.E. Charging Cable – Fluence Example Shown (Image: Renault)
Renault Z.E. Charging Cable – Fluence Example Shown (Image: Renault)

A standard cable for connecting to a charge station comes with the vehicle. An additional cable for occasional charging through a standard domestic socket is available at extra cost.

Home Forums Zoe Information Charging

This topic contains 57 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Trevor Larkum 8 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #29905

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Charging Methods The Zoe has three methods of charging, considered here in terms of increasing cost and complexity but reducing charging time: Standar
    [See the full post at: Charging]

    #29906

    umberto
    Participant

    Very nice.

    There are interesting Wall Boxes with 3 phases at 16 A, which makes 11 kW and give a 2h loading time.

    I once gathered the price in Germany for the model AMAX 11 plus (a search engine will provide the interested reader with further infos) which totalled to around 800 Euros + VAT.

    While the 1 phase 32 A sounds quite interesting – the 32 A requires some special handling on your electrical system at home…I don’t know if this is easier than a 3 phase 16 A Wall Box.

    The only thing I’m not sure whether the 11 kW WBs are compatible with the Zoe charger.

    Regards
    Umbi

    #29907

    Sjoepie

    You are quite right, Umbi.
    Here in the Netherlands we have standard 3 x 230 Volt/ 16 Amps.
    A 32 Amps system is much more expensive so it would be very worthwhile to have the possibility to use 3 x 230V/16A !

    #29908

    MITSCH
    Participant

    Are there any information on how the battery temperature is handled in ZOE?
    I’ve heard Leaf only has a standard ventilator for the battery and there have been unsatisfied (with range) buyers in the USA’s hot states Arizona etc.
    Opel Ampera for examle has its battery in a liquid that keeps its temperature stabile by the the battery’s own power.

    #29909

    smitchy73
    Participant

    Here in Scotland, the Energy Savings Trust will be offering ‘free’ home chargers, subject to a home survey by their preferred supplier, they are hoping to offer the 32a wall box which will speed up charging for all ev’s. Here our fuse box has two 32a fuses in place, one is for the electric shower and the other is for the oven in the kitchen so it’s not unusual to have that load on a household system, there is also a great charity in the UK called Zero Carbon World, where they donate charging units to hotels, restaurants, bars, visitor centre’s etc to offer their services to EV owners for free or very low cost, the idea being that if they have a charger they will encourage EV owners to visit their establishment either to stay overnight, have lunch or dinner, visit their stores etc and their EV can be charged whilst there. The charging units aren’t anything too fancy it is modular and has a 32a socket, and a 13a socket on the same charging unit.

    #29910

    mervync13
    Participant

    Have completed application form for the free Chargemaster charging point, which is a some kind of scheme with British Gas and Polarnetwork. I am waiting for someone presumably British Gas to do a survey of my garage and electrics. I will keep all informed of the progress.

    #29911

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Mitja,

    As far as I know Renault has released nothing publicly about how the battery is cooled – which suggests it does not have a sophisticated cooling system. Given the trouble Renault’s partner Nissan has had with its Leaf in hot climates in Arizona and elsewhere in the US one might wonder if any launch delays are connected to revisions to the cooling system.

    #29912

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Looking forward to the details, Mervyn. At some point I’ll write up the options for subsidised chargers around the UK.

    #29913

    david

    Hi Umbi

    In answer to some of your questions, in the UK the standard domestic supply is single phase with a 100amp supply. So a 3 phase unit would be a wasted investment, hence the 32amp unit.

    with regards to special precautions you are on the money and these units are treated in the same way as an electric shower i.e. dedicated supply from the consumer unit, RCD and MCB protection. In addition in the Uk a dedicated earth is also required.

    The main question to ask before making any purchasing decision is what is the rating of the on board charger. all the Japanese cars are currently single phase (J1772 connector on the car) so not point in wasting money on a 3 phase unit plus a typical car has a 3.3kW on board charger so going 32 over 16amps is questionable except the price of the charger should be the same and you are future proofing the investment.

    #29914

    david

    Hi Bob

    would like to raise a couple of points if I may the rating of the charger to a degree is a red herring as the on board charger is the defining factor. Cars on the market today only have around a 3.3 kW on board charger. The 7kW charge point is really future proofing.

    With regards using a 13amp socket, A well known EV manufacture has sent a letter to it owners saying only use this type of socket in an emergency plus the standard socket for all public charging in Scotland is via “62196-2” which allows the charge point to communicate to the car and deliver that magic 32amps.

    With regards the units supplied by Zero Carbon world many were commercial Commando sockets which I understand only the v expensive Tesla could use. Further more these sockets have no shutter protection, hence are only allowed in commercial applications ask can give a shock if say a child or other stuck their fingers in it.

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