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Zelda - 2015 Renault Zoe Q210 (Dynamique Intens)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started writing this as a reply to this post, but quickly the length of it got out of hand, so it's its own thread now. Probably better that way since I would like to hear from as many people as possible, whether they have good advice or just want to laugh at my misfortune.

Here's what happened to me last night. (I've tried to keep this short, but it's not, I'm very sorry)

I have a 65 plate Dyanamique Intens (continental motor, 22kWh) which I bought a month ago, and I've been trying to find its total range. So yesterday evening I popped to Tesco with a reported 75% charge, sat on the 22kW charger for about 90 minutes until the car finally read 100%. (It's never done this before, and I've gotten bored of waiting at 99% with no ETA so if I'm travelling any great distance I usually get it to 99% and call it there. Later you will realise this is a mistake)

Hooray, 100%! Estimate was 57 miles. Time to drive to Wolverhampton (66 miles). I usually leave all the creature comforts on, but this was going to be Eco mode, 58mph maximum, aim for a charger 66 miles away and see what happens. I've previously gotten 70 miles out of the battery with all the stuff turned on, so I figured the estimate from my recent (spirited) driving probably wasn't reflective of what was actually about to happen, and thankfully it wasn't!

I arrived in Wolverhampton with 25% charge remaining (though the gauge had been doing scary things between 100% and 25%), and I'd been getting 4 Mi/kWh. With my range estimate now reading 21 miles, rather than use the paid rapid charger I'd arrived at, I turned around and aimed at a free podpoint at a shopping centre. It was 12:30 in the morning, so hopefully the car park wasn't shut! 馃馃従 (it wasn't).

Scores on the doors, 80 miles (and 2.5 hours) from leaving Tesco with a full charge:



I was well chuffed! Around town I usually get 2.4 Mi/kWh, and here it is at 4.1! 80 miles out and the car said it could do eight more, but not wanting to further explore the bottom end of my charge gauge, I wanted to go home. I wish the story ended here at the charger. Note the estimate. 30 minutes later, having gone for a walk, I came back to this:


...oh! That wasn't what I had hoped for. Granted, estimates are estimates, but I've actually never seen the estimate go up whilst charging before. Something strange was afoot. I sat back in the car, and opened up YouTube. Another half hour went by, the car had reached 98%, and as usual I was about to get impatient. When it ticked over to 99%, I expected it was probably actually at like 90% and needed another 2 or 3 kWh, which I wouldn't need to get home. Often when rapid charging, the car gets to 99%, but if I watch the charge app, it keeps on charging past +4 kWh (and remember, I'd never hit 100% before, so my thinking is that the car just didn't know where 100%, but after those extra minutes it was probably pretty close). So I waited for 45 minutes, and unplugged.

I should have looked at the app, to see I had only added 15 kWh, over that hour and three quarters.

I set off home, Eco mode disabled, but with the A/C off since it wasn't all that warm anyway. Range estimate was 80 miles, smile was on face. I got on the motorway, cruise control set at 70, and with 42 miles to go, I was confident I'd be arriving home with range to spare. I was wrong. If I remember correctly, about 10 miles into the trip, the range had gone down to 30 miles. Soon enough the fuel warning light was on, and I was begging the car to make it back. Range anxiety, a feeling I've experienced 3 times now, happens for me when the phone says I'm X miles from the charger, and the car says I'm X miles from SOL, and the car is ticking down quicker. The "my battery is about to die, you idiot" sound on the Zoe is really unpleasant, isn't it?


I made it to the charger. I don't know how close I came to death, when I got there the car wasn't limiting my power (I checked) and the car said I was at 6%. I then checked the podpoint app and pulled out all of my hair.

That's the end of the story, I assume I'm not the first Zoe owner to experience this total breakdown of charge level estimation, but this is what I get for not doing my research. I'd love to hear from you if you've had similar experiences, and what you've done to correct or account for them. Again, I mostly drive my car around town, longest round trip I regularly do is 20 mi, but it's nice to know how far the car can actually go, because sometimes you do want a change of scenery. I'm thrilled to know my car can go further than the 70 miles I thought it topped out at, but I'm disappointed by my experience coming home this morning.
 

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Zelda - 2015 Renault Zoe Q210 (Dynamique Intens)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BMS update as a concept is 100% new to me, I'll have a look in the book. It's been serviced by Renault from new, so I should think so.
You're going to be asked this, so I might as well ask it. Are you certain that the car has had the Battery Management System update?
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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You have experienced the effect of higher speed on range - it absolutely murders it. Never trust the range on a GOM unless you know that the car was driven in the same way up until the charge as you intend driving it after. Some vendors clearly drive very economically before selling their cars to judge by the GOMs in adverts showing 5 - 6 miles/kWh. Obviously in this case you deceived yourself, but it's a mistake we all make once before the near-stranding experience teaches us to think a bit more carefully in future.
But all's good as you got home safely.
 

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Zelda - 2015 Renault Zoe Q210 (Dynamique Intens)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have experienced the effect of higher speed on range - it absolutely murders it. Never trust the range on a GOM unless you know that the car was driven in the same way up until the charge as you intend driving it after. Some vendors clearly drive very economically before selling their cars to judge by the GOMs in adverts showing 5 - 6 miles/kWh. Obviously in this case you deceived yourself, but it's a mistake we all make once before the near-stranding experience teaches us to think a bit more carefully in future.
But all's good as you got home safely.
I don't think the difference was the speed - as I said I've gotten 70 miles of real, uneconomical driving out of it in the past. The car was not reading the correct percentage, it doesn't make sense any other way.
 

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Zelda - 2015 Renault Zoe Q210 (Dynamique Intens)
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rachel, my Fluence seems to pack in more electricity if I charge at 8 amps.
That's very interesting! I don't have a home charger sadly so I am mostly limited to how long I can keep myself occupied in a public car park. Excuse my inexperience but what kind of charger is that?
 

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Tesla Model 3 LR AWD, Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav)
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BMS update as a concept is 100% new to me, I'll have a look in the book. It's been serviced by Renault from new, so I should think so.
Some (most?) 22 kWh ZOEs needed an update to the Battery Management System firmware. Symptoms are low reported range and state of health (SOH), and taking a long time to move from 99% to 100%, doing the cell balancing. If you do an advanced search for BMS update on the ZOE forum you'll find lots of threads on the subject. There are threads on a similar issue on the ZE50, so make sure you are looking at threads covering the 22 kWh ZOE. They will generally be older threads.

I've only owned a ZE40 and ZE50 so don't know the details, but a 22 kWh owner who has had the update may be able to help.

If I'd bought (or was buying) a 22kWh ZOE (or any used EV for that matter) I'd want the dealer to warrant that the latest firmware updates had been applied.

The best way to find out if you still need the BMS update is to use CanZE (CanZE) to check the firmware versions for some of the hardware modules and see if you have a recent enough update. You might find a local owner with the necessary dongle to connect to the CAN bus to do this for you if you ask.

Alternatively, did you buy the car from a Renault dealer? They might be helpful and check for you for free, if you are lucky. The magic words reported on the forum, if I remember correctly, are along the lines: "the car is reporting a low range when fully charged and taking a long time to charge from 99% to 100%. If it has never been done then it should be updated under warranty - Renault issued advice on the fault. Good dealers will be helpful. Bad dealers ...

Or they might not (or pretend not to) know about it or might want to charge an obscene amount to check.
 

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Tesla Model 3 LR AWD, Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav)
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Rachel, my Fluence seems to pack in more electricity if I charge at 8 amps.
Is this extra electricity measured at the meter - that is, the electricity going from the socket? If the Fluence is like the ZOE (it probably is) then it will be less efficient a low charging currents, as the on-board charger is designed to be most efficient at 16A and above. As it is less efficient at low currents it takes more electricity from the socket to put the same amount of charge into the battery.

Alternatively, do you have a way of measuring how much charge is actually delivered into the battery? If I remember correctly, I think CanZE does report this.
 

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Is this extra electricity measured at the meter - that is, the electricity going from the socket? If the Fluence is like the ZOE (it probably is) then it will be less efficient a low charging currents, as the on-board charger is designed to be most efficient at 16A and above. As it is less efficient at low currents it takes more electricity from the socket to put the same amount of charge into the battery.

Alternatively, do you have a way of measuring how much charge is actually delivered into the battery? If I remember correctly, I think CanZE does report this.
Oh, I'm sure I pay for the extra energy. Just it's more efficient in monetary terms for me to put an extra kwh in at home, than in London where I'm paying ten times the price per kwh. :)
 

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Zelda - 2015 Renault Zoe Q210 (Dynamique Intens)
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some (most?) 22 kWh ZOEs needed an update to the Battery Management System firmware. Symptoms are low reported range and state of health (SOH), and taking a long time to move from 99% to 100%, doing the cell balancing. If you do an advanced search for BMS update on the ZOE forum you'll find lots of threads on the subject. There are threads on a similar issue on the ZE50, so make sure you are looking at threads covering the 22 kWh ZOE. They will generally be older threads.
This is exactly my problem, aaaa! Thank you! Either I don't have the update, or the problem was somehow worse once upon a time. I will be talking to the dealer, but my life is a bit mad rn so I'll just add it to the todo list.

My local Renault dealer have initially been a little unhelpful, I emailed them about a broken air vent that I bought the car with, and despite the 6 month warranty included, they seem to want to charge me (lots) for the fix, and charge me (lots) to do a diagnostic to activate the R-Link connected stuff. I hope that's going to get smoothed out with a polite conversation, but frankly the Renault dealer I bought it from (130 miles from home, that was a fun first drive) were utterly useless. (Mitchells Lowestoft.) From what I can tell this car had been sitting on their lot for a year, and they say they serviced it when I called them to buy it, but it seems every week I find more evidence of lack of care on their part. I'll have to see how I get on with my local and report back.
 

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Tesla Model 3 LR AWD, Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav)
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This is exactly my problem, aaaa!
I'm not totally convinced it is, as an 80 mile range is quite reasonable for a 22 kWh battery in a 2015 car. Do check it out. I wouldn't fret about it too much, as you've learned to manage range and charging the car. Some on here says that it [the BMS update] doesn't really change anything, just changing the reported numbers.

The car will be out of its manufacturer warranty. Had that been extended? If not then you only have the 6 month dealer warranty so get everything checked in that period.

You can always talk to Renault customer services for advice on the BMS and ask them to give you the 'ACTIS number' for the BMS fix, which tells the dealer what to do. (I did a search on the ZOE and there looks to be the details here Zoe Q210 BMS 'Actis Solution' number?. There may be better threads.) Some dealers seem to be keen to appear good to Renault.

Remember that there is not a lot to service on an EV, but the usual stuff does need to be inspected - tyres, brakes, read and check the diagnostic info, suspension, 12 V battery ... And the brake fluid [and] coolant are supposed to be replaced at 4 and 5 years respectively. The last two can be expensive - it claimed that this partly because the HV battery has to be disconnected. There is also an extra brake bleed point to access (which doesn't seem a big thing to me). Ask if these two things were done as part of the 'service'. Insist that they use the CLIP tool (a diagnostic interface) to show you the reported state of health (SOH).

Edited for clarity.
 

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Zelda - 2015 Renault Zoe Q210 (Dynamique Intens)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not totally convinced it is, as an 80 mile range is quite reasonable for a 22 kWh battery in a 2015 car.
It's not limited range that bothers me, I knew relatively well what I was getting myself into in terms of range when I bought the car. I'm reading that it might not need to sit for over a bloody hour on the plug reporting 99% when it's really only 75% full, which is dangerous when you don't know it's possible.

I don't claim to understand the BMS's ability to monitor the incoming electricity, but when the trip computer can count my kWh used, and my kWh 'saved' by regen, it's irritating that it can't keep track of how much energy it's actually had from the bloody plug, so I have to check what I've paid for.

The advice on servicing is much appreciated, I honestly thought that brake fluid would go longer than that. I've seen my car has had a brand new (reportedly) 12v battery every year - is that really necessary?
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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I'm reading that it might not need to sit for over a bloody hour on the plug reporting 99% when it's really only 75% full, which is dangerous when you don't know it's possible.
I think that you'll find that's not the case, at most it'll 5% out, not 25% out.
From what I can tell this car had been sitting on their lot for a year,
This may be causing some of your problems. You really need to get hold of CAN-ZE and check the state of the battery and any imbalance in the cells. Significant imbalance causes all sorts of issues with changing range and is best cured by charging to 100% regularly which I appreciate may be difficult for you.
 

Zoe Devotee
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Its a 65 plate car, it'll have had the BMS update at least once already. Your range sounds on the low side. On a full 100% reset the trip counter, what does the range say? Anything less than stock 82miles and you've got degradation.

CANZE can confirm the level of degradation and the cars State of Health (SOH) but doing as I say above and dividing your displayed range by .82 will give a fairly decent estimate of your degradation. You can also confirm if your car has been magically BMS updated before by reporting back the LBC versions your car has.

In this current weather driving as you did on the first leg you should be easily seeing close to 100miles range. The 70mph trip back would be more like 80miles range, expect about 3.6mpkwh in warm UK conditions at 65-70mph with AC on.
 

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Zoe R110
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I can't understand why your charge rate was so poor, a dongle and CANZE connected to show the actual charge rate would be needed to figure out what was going on with that. If it was a one off it was probably the charger doing something odd.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the car just a simple misunderstanding what you are being told by the GOM.
If you continued to drive the car in the same way you did to get the 4.1m/kW then I am sure it would have done the 80 ish miles as you expected. However you say that you jumped on the motorway and set the cruise to 70 and the temp had gone down. Without knowing the exact road it is hard to be sure but at 70mph constantly you are going to eat you range and the GOM will constantly re-evaluate how far you can go with the averaged consumption. Head wind, up hill on the return trip? Getting colder will adversely affect your range but the car has to average a load of things to give the range in the GOM.
Exactly the same as and old ICE car really. Drive it nicely and the average consumption goes down and the indicated range for the tank goes up. If you then drive it up hill at a higher speed you would understand it wouldn't be able to do the initial stated range, but now you have a much smaller "tank" and limited ways to fill it up, so you get some squeaky bum moments.
Speed is your enemy when trying for range.

You made it home, so like all of us, that is a lesson learnt :)
 
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