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 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 58 total)
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  • #29915

    umberto
    Participant

    David,

    thanks for your comments. Interestiing that UK has single phase power supply…how do you drive your ovens?

    Since this is a Zoe forum your comments may be misleading. The onboard Zoe charger is of course capable of both triphase loading as well as loading with power ratings up to 43 kW (22 and 43 kW will cost extra due to the high wear of the leased LiIon battery).

    The thrilling question now is wheter the Zoe supports loading below 3 kW since we know that Renault will not sell an auxilliary loading cable with a standard plug.

    I’m very sad about this decision because it will prevent a lot of people of buying the Zoe. Surely there will be problems with overheating wall plugs in the first time, but we have all learned to handle gasoline in the last 100 years (no smoking, no storing of large amounts a.s.o). We will learn to handle electricity as well. It’s just a matter of communication and education.

    Regards
    Umbi

    #29916

    Anonymous

    Got survey done by british gas for charger on my drive in Brighton : 495 pounds for armoured cable and rcd on polar(you get charger as lease,free for first 2 years then you pay)or about 800 through chargemaster when charger belongs to you.For some reason Sussex does not have free charge scheme like other places.Now the problem I face is I have my Ion as a comapny car of choice,which will go out of lease in june,then I wanted to ask for zoe but unsure if I could charge it by the same port :/
    Driven Leaf and Ion and very happy with both,they actually use same charging tech,so dc charger on clacket lane worked great for both cars.Zoe is not going to be chademo compatible,major letdown 🙁

    #29917

    Peter

    In Sweden most domestic power supply from the grid is by 3x25A. All household outlets are 1x10A. I regard 3×16 for domestic use (incl load management) and 3x32A or 3x63A as most viable for public use in Sweden.

    #29918

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    “Zoe is not going to be chademo compatible,major letdown”

    Well, the EU has now dictated that each country must put in a large number of chargers in the next few years – and they will be compatible with Zoe, not Chademo.

    #29919

    david

    Hi the ion being a Japanese re-badged car will has the J1772 connector on the car. To comply with UK domestic electrical installations BS1363 where physical shutters are required on sockets. you home charger will know doubt have a tethered lead and J1772 inter-connector.

    simple to check, has 3 large power pins and 2 small.

    In order for the Renault to take 3 phase the car will have a 62196-2 socket only, the same as on public charge. points. Thus will not be compatible with your home charge point, or any of the DC as Renault have decided they want a rapid AC charger 43kW all to themselves

    #29920

    Anonymous

    Yep,and what I fear they will do is to install loads of pretty useless slow chargers ,and we really need rapid ones to be able to take cars on longer journeys. Those companies like Engenie who have invested plenty of money into chademo chargers now where left in a limbo.Real question is not how great of a car zoe is going to be(damn sure better then Ion)but if there is infrastructure to support it.For time being there is no single rapid charger for zoe and when enqurired with chargemaster 3 phase one is going to cost a only slightly less then chademo.
    I really cannot see why chademo was not adopted,its not that much of a deal to have two sockets.

    #29921

    david

    Your last line sums it up, we have had back from the car manufacturers the extra flap or larger one does add to the cost.

    To add further to the confusion many European manufacturers as going for a 62196-3 socket for DC charging again incompatible with CHAdeMO.

    If and when the Zoe come out I would suggest you look for 3 phase public charge points with 62196 sockets there are some. They will be able to deliver 22kW of power

    #29922

    david

    sorry but why not just purchase a charge point for a local company and get a local electrician to install? could be cheaper in the long run and he would not try and service your boiler at the same time an up-sell you their other services

    #29923

    MITSCH
    Participant

    Since ZOE will not use my home socket http://www.lefigaro.fr/automobile/2013/02/01/03001-20130201ARTFIG00571-la-renault-zoe-interdite-de-prise-electrique-ordinaire.php
    I will be left with a car, that can only be charged at a public point where I have to leave my car for half an hour, provided it is free when I get there or make a reservation. Of course, it has already been promised that this will not remain free of charge, in the future we will have to pay for the service of charging and not just for the electricity we’ve used.
    I don’t like queing for anything and Renault makes me que for the car and then for the charging point as well.

    #29924

    Les

    Well,it seems like zoe is going to use mennekes set for its public cable,with a bit of diy you could get 16amp socket installed instead of your usuall outdoor cable,just ask your local electrician if you feel unsure about this.

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