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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I picked up my 2018 Zoe ZE40 R110 almost two weeks ago, and I'm currently in the middle of a proper range test. Rather than finish the test out with another 3-4 days of my normal 24-mile commute, I am thinking of trying to finish it in the morning with a drive to the coast. Such a drive would be on similar roads and at similar speeds/terrain to my normal commute, so I figure that'll give me a good idea of just how far I can go on a full charge in the summer. The drive from my house to the nearest point on the coast is 48.8 miles, so just under 100 miles for a round trip. My Zoe currently says 104 miles until empty.... I've checked and ZapMap actually shows quite a few charging stations on the route (roughly Peterborough-Gedney), so I figure if it looks like I won't make it I can just pull of at one of those and charge enough to get me home. Is this a bad idea? On a related note, I don't really plan to use much public charging since this is primarily a commuter car and I will mostly be charging on a granny cable using my home's solar. Along the route I see PodPoint, Ecotricity, "Zap-Home" (is that just someone's house?) and a few others - if it turns out I really need a few kWh to get home can I just show up and charge, or do I need to pre-buy special cards to use them?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
One question: Why?
Several reasons:

1) It is going to be pretty sunny this weekend so I'd like to take advantage of the free energy but I want to complete a full range-test before charging because I like knowing my limits (weather depending of course)
2) I've not looked into public charging yet so I may as well figure it out now
3) I really enjoy driving the Zoe and tomorrow (well, today now that it is nearly 2a...) seems like a lovely day for a picnic by the sea.
 

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Drive there and use less than 40% of your battery, then you can drive home with 20% remaining. If you get there having used 45%, then either charge or drive home slower. Charge early rather than when nearly empty, don't get stuck, too many other people will need help on the roads.
 

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You'll need to download the apps to use the Ecotricity and Pod Point chargers. You'll need to contact the owner of the Zap Home location (this is someone's home or business) to arrange the use and potential payment in advance for that.

Pay attention to the charging post at each location. Your car can charge at up to 22kW so somewhere with 22kW or 43kW charging is going to get you on the move again fastest. Make sure you bring your Type 2 cable as its not guaranteed the public chargers will have the cable provided.

Make sure the chargers aren't reported broken on Zap Map (red outline) and always have a plan B. Don't try to charge with 1% left as you're screwed if you then can't plug in there for whatever reason.

Finally, put your route into ABRP. That's pretty accurate and can even take things like weather into account to tell you if you will make it, or where is best to charge on the way.
 

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Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine July 2020 (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav June 2017)
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I wouldn't try to do the two things on the same trip:
  • Your first use of public charging. Do it when you know that you definitely have enough range to get home if it doesn't work. Say 20% charge and a public charger well within range. I found it best to build up confidence with the public networks until I found out which were most convenient, reliable and could be relied on. And I always go to a charger where there is another in range of it fails or is occupied (Plan B).
  • A range test on your car. Why try doing that straight away? Interesting, but not worth running out of charge for yet.
If you want to go to the coast, then I'd set off with a full charge.
 

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Also, never bargain on using your 'last ditch' charger. Plan on using the one before that.

A useful technique (in a Leaf, at least) is to look at the 'excess' range you are showing as you drive. From your 1st post, you are saying this will be 4 miles. You need to see this figure increasing as you travel if you are to make it without needing to charge. With this sort of headroom I'd say it would be worth a quick charge at the most convenient charger anywhere on your route - just a quick splash and dash to give you more headroom.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Made the trip today - I grabbed the Ecotricity and Polar apps, noted down addresses of four different charging stations on the way back, and even got permission from the dealer I bought the Zoe from (which happened to be on the way back) to stop and charge if need be. Turns out I didn't need it, as I pulled into my drive with a whole 6 miles remaining! I was able to drive a total of 187.4 miles on that charge, which make me pretty happy judging as how Renault says the ZE40 can do 180, but real-world is closer to 120-150 depending on weather. I do tend to drive like a grandma (eco mode on the whole time), but it is nice to know I should get more miles out of a charge than I initially expected. (Not that I plan on dropping the battery quite so low ever again....) For anyone who is curious, the low battery indicator comes on (yellow) at ~10% charge (18 miles for me), and when it drops to ~5% (9 miles) it turns red and starts angrily beeping... :LOL: Another fun fact: from 3% to 100% has an estimated granny charge time of 24.9 hours!

tl;dr: I had a great time range-testing my ZE40, and got significantly better miles out of a charge than I expected. End-of-trip efficiency was 4.8 mpkWh. Dropped the battery frighteningly low but I made it home!
 

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Turn off eco mode and you'll soon learn to extract even higher range in normal mode. Eco mode is for the last 5 miles when your in the brown sticky stuff.
 
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