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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I jumped into the world of EVs 1 week ago with a 2017 Zoe. Bought the car 100s of miles from home, from a Renault dealer who did a 'service' and MOT and I have 6 months of used car warranty. Drove the car with ease to my parents for a long weekend. Did a rapid charge (44kW) and a slower (22kW) charge at public tethered chargers. Then as I headed onto the motorway network found the vagaries of busy chargers and broken chargers but managed two rapid charges.

I got to my local town with 4 chargers and none would work. By this point the range was down to a few miles, the one tethered charger is broken and the other 3 require you to plug in your own cable. Other people were struggling to use the chargers as well and Charge Place Scotland tried to assist as best as they can but we failed to get any to work.

I limped the car home with it screaming at me!

I've tested the car charging cable with a multimeter - I have continuity in all pins with the PP pin showing 440ohm resistance - so all seems ok.

I've tried to use another 12V car battery to 'jump start' it but the car didn't start a charge on the granny cable - not previously used charger - I'm awaiting installation of a proper charge point.

From my reading it seems if the 12V battery is low on charge, but apparently still functioning, it will not start a traction battery charge?

Will a car charging point charge both the traction battery and the 12V battery? Or does the traction battery need to be quite high % state of charge to then charge the 12V battery?

I suspect the 12V battery is now beyond recovery and wonder if it was in a poor state of health when I bought the vehicle - it had previously done a high milage in 3 years and funnily enough the last year its not done much. (It was replaced at the 3 year service.)

I'm now awaiting Renaults recovery folks (and that's not been a joyous experience...).

Does it sound like there's anything else wrong?

Edit: Thanks in advance - the technical discussion I've read to date has been fascinating!
 

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Why do you think that the 12V battery is low on charge?
Assuming that car can power up (radio comes on, etc) then a low state of battery health can trigger a series of what appear to be unrelated electrical warnings. What warnings have you got? If there aren't any warnings, it shouldn't stop the traction battery charging, unless its completely dead.

The 12V battery charges any time the traction battery is engaged - so when the car is fully turned on or when charging. Doesn't matter what the traction battery energy level is - so long as it isn't zero.

Charge Place Scotland have very recently migrated its network to a new provider. They are also in the process of installing better monitoring on all of its points.
I haven't been using it in the last few days, but wouldn't surprise me if there have been teething problems.
 

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On recovery - make sure that the Renault garage its being taken to can accept it. Chances are the tow truck driver will know anyway.
Some dealers on the Renault website say that they can deal with EVs, but in reality can't (such as the one on Rannoch Drive, Bearsden). On that garage (my closest) they accepted it over the phone, held onto the car for a day, then organised Renault to take it to a different dealership wasting a few days (that issue wasn't electrical).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the heads up about garages - will make certain they can handle it!

Nothing is now working the it’s totally dead - yesterday I tested the voltage of the battery and it was 4v

Last time I was able to view the traction battery state of charge it was showing 0%. I just hope the BMS is doing it’s thing and keeping it safe - although it’s a leased battery.

So there’s a chance the granny cable wasn’t liked by the car - earth resistance issue or such like?
 

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You will get all kinds of issues with a bad 12v battery. Hopefully one you have a better 12v the issues will be resolved.

Cheers.
 

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Hi, your first bet is to get a new 12volt battery installed on the vehicle, as this is responsible for powering the instrument cluster.
a lot of Renault Zoe’s I have worked on for some reason don’t like certain chargers and report various issues. Once the new battery is fitted make sure they check the battery is being charged.

Martyn Hetherington
Westmoor mot centre
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks all.

Garages are busy and theres a long wait so not racing to get the car collected to sit in a yard for a week or more - so trying to firstly see if I can rescue the 12v battery and get it up to 12.7V to then try to see if the granny charger will work. The resting voltage was sitting at just over 11V - presumably the current draw from the car computer was dragging down the voltage so perhaps its not as gone as I had feared. If the granny charge fails then will revert to the recovery folks to try a working public charger.

I phoned the dealer who sold the car and he was very helpful and also spoke to a service engineer - sounds like whist I was driving from one charger to the next and failing to charge it was having a negative impact on remaining charge on the 12V battery. He didn't think the 12V battery should be a goner and said it wouldn't charge from the traction battery with a very low % remaining - which if you're limping to a safe place to stop to await rescue on a road makes sense.

Does seem to be conflicting opinions about how the algorithms that control the car work!
 

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Last time I was able to view the traction battery state of charge it was showing 0%. I just hope the BMS is doing it’s thing and keeping it safe - although it’s a leased battery.

So there’s a chance the granny cable wasn’t liked by the car - earth resistance issue or such like?
Hope that you get it sorted. Sooner the better - nothing the BMS can do to protect the battery once there's no charge there! However, there is a bottom buffer to protect against cell collapse, storing at very low state isn't great but shouldn't be a disaster for a short period. Can you get the car to accept a charge with a battery booster / conditioner on the 12V battery? That would be the quickest way to rescue things a bit if possible.
 

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So I jumped into the world of EVs 1 week ago with a 2017 Zoe. Bought the car 100s of miles from home, from a Renault dealer who did a 'service' and MOT and I have 6 months of used car warranty. Drove the car with ease to my parents for a long weekend. Did a rapid charge (44kW) and a slower (22kW) charge at public tethered chargers. Then as I headed onto the motorway network found the vagaries of busy chargers and broken chargers but managed two rapid charges.

I got to my local town with 4 chargers and none would work. By this point the range was down to a few miles, the one tethered charger is broken and the other 3 require you to plug in your own cable. Other people were struggling to use the chargers as well and Charge Place Scotland tried to assist as best as they can but we failed to get any to work.

I limped the car home with it screaming at me!

I've tested the car charging cable with a multimeter - I have continuity in all pins with the PP pin showing 440ohm resistance - so all seems ok.

I've tried to use another 12V car battery to 'jump start' it but the car didn't start a charge on the granny cable - not previously used charger - I'm awaiting installation of a proper charge point.

From my reading it seems if the 12V battery is low on charge, but apparently still functioning, it will not start a traction battery charge?

Will a car charging point charge both the traction battery and the 12V battery? Or does the traction battery need to be quite high % state of charge to then charge the 12V battery?

I suspect the 12V battery is now beyond recovery and wonder if it was in a poor state of health when I bought the vehicle - it had previously done a high milage in 3 years and funnily enough the last year its not done much. (It was replaced at the 3 year service.)

I'm now awaiting Renaults recovery folks (and that's not been a joyous experience...).

Does it sound like there's anything else wrong?

Edit: Thanks in advance - the technical discussion I've read to date has been fascinating!
Reject the car.
 

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Can we reject you? Why do I post on Zoe stuff all the time with your negativity, you don’t own one anymore
Op asks for advice, I have offered mine.

I am being very positive .. OP should move forward with their life and have a good one, not be weighed down by a Zoe millstone. They have a very short opportunity to escape, the warning signs are all there for them.

I have an opinion and I paid more than a full and fair price for it. Stop being negative about my opinion!
 

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Seems a bit extreme to lose £3,000 every time you need a new battery?
Rejection would result in a refund of everything they have paid.

I agree, if you can't get a satisfactory resolution, then waiver your right to reject the car and have a full refund within 30days.

Unless it was a particular bargain price just find another one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A fully charged 12v battery cleared almost all of the error codes but didn’t allow a charge to start - a tethered charger said it couldn’t communicate with the car. The car showed the cable attached but was red on the dashboard and flashing red at the connector. Alas I didn’t get a chance to use CanZE. Left it with a Renault garage.
Thanks again for opinions advice!
 

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A fully charged 12v battery cleared almost all of the error codes but didn’t allow a charge to start - a tethered charger said it couldn’t communicate with the car. The car showed the cable attached but was red on the dashboard and flashing red at the connector. Alas I didn’t get a chance to use CanZE. Left it with a Renault garage.
Thanks again for opinions advice!
Where abouts are you based? We are an independent specialist for EV in Newcastle upon Tyne would be happy to help
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Where abouts are you based? We are an independent specialist for EV in Newcastle upon Tyne would be happy to help
Thanks - it would cost a bit to get the car to you but not impossible, I’ll find out what they say next week.
 

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He didn't think the 12V battery should be a goner and said it wouldn't charge from the traction battery with a very low % remaining
This is incorrect. The car will continue to charge the 12v battery even with a low charge level in the main battery. There is something wrong with the car and they are just making up reasons to make it sound normal when it is broken.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is incorrect. The car will continue to charge the 12v battery even with a low charge level in the main battery. There is something wrong with the car and they are just making up reasons to make it sound normal when it is broken.

Cheers.
Ok, so a small 50Ah 12V battery is tiny compared to the c42kW 400V battery but is there not a point when the BMS says enough is enough I'm cutting out to protect the much more expensive 400V battery than a cheap and cheerful 12V battery?

I'm amazed they have lead acid batteries to power the 12V system - I get why you'd have two batteries but why lead acid? I suspect a cost saving - and possibly the issues of someone putting in a lead acid rather than a LiFePO4 or such like with the different charging profiles that would be required.

Either way much as I love to understand how things work I've only had the car for less than a week when it went wrong, its beyond my technical capabilities to fix, so yeah its broken and needs fixed and I'm sure the dealer will resolve the issue!
 
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