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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Newbie here. I've been thinking about buying a BEV for a while, recently test drove the Zoe and a Leaf. I prefer the Zoe (will probably get a '17 or' 18 model). But I am sensitive to high frequency electrical noise, and am concerned that I might get annoyed by the charging whine from the car at night. It will be parked on my drive in front of my bedroom window, and as its a quiet area I generally have the windows open in summer. The one I heard charging at the dealership was really loud (but maybe that's because it was a 22kW charger?). So I have a few questions:
  1. If you /family members are sensitive to this kind of noise, how loud/annoying do you find it?
  2. Can anything be done to reduce noise on the car? I've read about having filters fitted to the charge point in case the harmonics cause issues in the house wiring, but not found any fixes for the noise generated in the car bonnet.
  3. Have Renault /are Renault doing anything to improve this, ie. are newer Zoes better? Is it worth waiting for the September 2019 versions?
Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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I’m not sure if it’s louder at 22 kW as I’m usually in a larger parking garage when it happens.

When we had the ZOE outside the front of the house I never noticed the noise, and we had only single glazing at the time.

Like all noises, you tend to get used to them, so I doubt you’ll notice it after the first week or so.
 

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The appalling charging noise is often picked up by some mains electrical devices. I can hear mine in the consumer unit cupboard. If I open the microwave door I can hear it in there and also one of the UPS devices picks it up. That's using the normal 7kw charging.

The actual car itself I can't really hear so much. Unless it's warm then the fans are going and they're quite loud.

Renault deny there is a problem.

I'd borrow one in the warmer weather and see how intrusive you find it.
 

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Hard to say really, I can hear the noise but it doesn't bother me and worst case it's for 4 hours on my 22kWh model, not that you usually charge from flat. The more bothersome noise is in the winter if you decide to use the timed precondition, you and the neighbours get treated to about 40 minutes of jet engine...
 
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Discussion Starter #5
The appalling charging noise is often picked up by some mains electrical devices. I can hear mine in the consumer unit cupboard. If I open the microwave door I can hear it in there and also one of the UPS devices picks it up. That's using the normal 7kw charging.

The actual car itself I can't really hear so much. Unless it's warm then the fans are going and they're quite loud.

Renault deny there is a problem.

I'd borrow one in the warmer weather and see how intrusive you find it.
Thanks for the advice. I don't have a charging point at home yet - if I borrowed a Zoe, and borrowed/bought a granny cable, would the charging from a granny cable replicate what I would be likely to hear in the car from a 7 kW home charger? I appreciate this is a techy electrical engineering question, but grateful for any advice.
 

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I've only ever charged it seriously on the 7kw/32 amp home charger. It might be quieter on a 16 amp one. I haven't tried it on one.

The 13 amp granny charger isn't a long term charging method so even if it is quiet on one of those it's nowhere near as sensible as having a dedicated charge point.

Other EVs don't make so much racket. That's all I know :)
 

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It will be parked on my drive in front of my bedroom window, and as its a quiet area I generally have the windows open in summer.
We have the same setup; most of the noise audible from the bedroom is from the fans, which (obviously) run more in summer than winter, and never for the full duration of the charge.

The high-pitched whine is definitely audible when the fans aren't running, but I don't find it especially intrusive; your ears may vary, but I'd class myself as sensitive to HF audio - have done a fair bit of audio engineering, where it's useful, but our oven makes a terrible squeak that my wife hardly notices but that I can't stand!
 

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It whines like hell on a 7kW charger. Used to be able to hear it halfway across the carpark when I used public charging.

It's silent on a granny charger.
 

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I've only ever charged it seriously on the 7kw/32 amp home charger. It might be quieter on a 16 amp one. I haven't tried it on one.
It is quieter on the granny cable (10A). I'm pretty sure that 22kW is significantly louder than 7kW. Although I can hear it on 7kW, it doesn't bother me at all.
 

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The noise is definitely power level dependent, both the high pitch as the fans. Fans because more waste heat needs to be dumped from the electronics, high pitch as it comes mainly from the motor coil: more power => stronger magnetic field changes => more stray movement.

I sleep on the second floor, ZOE (Q model) smack below the window, charging 16A singe phase. Can't hear it ever. I am not sensitive (as in annoyed) by high pitched noise, but my hearing is good.

Filters indeed only make sense if there's home appliances getting in resonance. In my particular case that is not happening in the house, but in the garage the PV inverter "sings along". Far enough not to hear. And anyway they usually don't operate at the same time ;-)
 

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If you are sensitive to this kind of noise, I’d recommend to be careful. I’m sensitive to noise in general, but the high frequency whine of Zoe’s charging doesn’t bother me so much and I very rarely charge the Zoe at home anyway.
We have a 7 kW wallbox and while a neighbour from across the road once remarked about ‘that strange whine’ while Zoe was being charged, you can’t hear a thing, even standing next to the car, while the eGolf is being charged.
 

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I know they're different noises but did you get over 60mph on your test drive? I notice that my wife's 40 is a lot whinier at speed than my 22. Could be an issue in itself.

Regarding the charging we can hear it in the house - we have an old style 'spinny thing' meter. Annoys my wife more than me.
 

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I'm wondering if this is installation specific?
I've never noticed anything special from mine inside or outside the house after the "click" of the contactors closing and fans running. ZE40, 7KW home charger, smart meter, modern fuse box, all of the cabling is pretty much external (charge point cable runs along outside of house to meter, which is in a cupboard against an external wall).
There also seems to be multiple suggestions of the sources.
Has been discussed before: Charging Noise - Weird one!!
 

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Depends on the type of charger I guess. Mine was always loud on Polar, Rolec and EH.
 

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I'm wondering if this is installation specific?
I very much doubt it, at least from the charger itself. Apart from signalling wires, it is basically just a 230V mains connection with a relay to connect or disconnect it. Of course if there are other items nearby that resonate that's a different matter - although I've never heard anything like that in my house.
 

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I think it's more hearing specific, which is largely (but not exclusively) age related... CRTs used to drive me nuts as a child. Parents: "what you on about, I can't hear anything?". Coil whine still bugs me a bit in computers if it's severe, but I don't go wild over it. If you're the sort of person who returns about 15 Dell laptops until they manage to find one that doesn't have coil whine, I'm guessing you wouldn't like the Zoe much :) It's audible reflecting off cars and buildings when you drive with the windows down too, which may well go for other EVs - I definitely know on foot when a Leaf is about to pass me before seeing it as they have a signature whine.

we have an old style 'spinny thing' meter
Same, and could be that I'm desensitised to background noise because of it - 37 years of hearing the 'rana rana rana rana rana' noise (my room is above the electrical cupboard) and you kind of get used to it!
 
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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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Hi all,

Newbie here. I've been thinking about buying a BEV for a while, recently test drove the Zoe and a Leaf. I prefer the Zoe (will probably get a '17 or' 18 model). But I am sensitive to high frequency electrical noise, and am concerned that I might get annoyed by the charging whine from the car at night. It will be parked on my drive in front of my bedroom window, and as its a quiet area I generally have the windows open in summer. The one I heard charging at the dealership was really loud (but maybe that's because it was a 22kW charger?). So I have a few questions:
  1. If you /family members are sensitive to this kind of noise, how loud/annoying do you find it?
  2. Can anything be done to reduce noise on the car? I've read about having filters fitted to the charge point in case the harmonics cause issues in the house wiring, but not found any fixes for the noise generated in the car bonnet.
  3. Have Renault /are Renault doing anything to improve this, ie. are newer Zoes better? Is it worth waiting for the September 2019 versions?
Thanks in advance for your help!
I ruled out the Zoe for precisely that reason.

It's really bad.
 

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My Zoe has never been a problem regarding either whine or fans. It lives under a carport alongside my house, with my neighbours garage forming an outer "wall", so it's maybe less subjected to heat in Summer. My hearing is fine, but I may well not have the high frequency sensitivity some mention. My neighbours, wife, and visitors have never complained about any noise.
 

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It’s very subtle high pitched charging sound but you can’t hear it indoors otherwise my wife would have sent it back long ago as she is very sensitive to annoying sounds in the house. I’m always getting complaints about charging MTB lights, RC car battery packs etc.. :)
 
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