- We compare charging curves, average charging capacities and C-rates
- Renault Zoe charging curve
- Average charging power of the Renault Zoe
- C rates of the Renault Zoe
- Renault Zoe: How quickly range is recharged?
- Comparison with other small electric cars
- Comparison of the charging curves
- Comparison of the C rates
- Comparison in terms of range reloading
We compare charging curves, average charging capacities and C-rates
The Renault Zoe is one of the best-selling electric cars in Europe; So far, a total of around 250,000 small electric cars have been sold. That is reason enough to give the car a quick charge analysis to dedicate.
Skin manufacturer can charge the Zoe with up to 50 kW DC voltage. But that’s just the maximum charging power. Here we take a closer look at the fast-loading behavior of the important model. Our analysis is based on charging curves published by the charging network provider Fastned. We compare the results with those of other small electric cars.
The Zoe is neither intended for long-distance journeys nor for very frequent use of fast-charging stations. The first generations weren’t even equipped with a DC charging option. Since the appearance of the Zoe Z.E. 50, many are wondering whether the fast charging option is worthwhile – the extra costs 1,100 euros in Germany.
Renault Zoe charging curve
The charging curve published by Fastned refers to the Zoe Z.E. 50 with a 55 kWh battery – that is obviously the gross capacity. According to the official price list, the corresponding battery in Germany has a nominal capacity of 52 kWh. Where the difference comes from remains open for the time being. Possibly there is an error in the price list and it refers to the net capacity.
According to the charging curve, the battery can be charged with up to 46 kW. Probably the simple air cooling of the battery is too weak to enable more power. This means that the Renault only charges half as fast as the Peugeot e-208 with its maximum charging power of 100 kW.
The charging curve is fairly smooth. The maximum charging power is maintained up to a charge level (SOC) of around 30 percent; then the curve slowly drops to around 25 kW.
Average charging power of the Renault Zoe
The average charging power in the important range of 20 to 80 percent SOC is 35 kW, i.e. 70 percent of the maximum value. This value is highlighted in black in the following graphic:
The Zoe has a three-phase 22 kW on-board charger as standard. If the charge level is over 60 percent, it hardly makes sense to look for a DC fast charger, as the advantage over charging with 22 kW AC voltage is small. A few more kW of charging power is hardly profitable, given the generally much higher costs.
C rates of the Renault Zoe
The maximum C-rate (i.e. the maximum charging power divided by the total battery capacity of 55 kWh) is around 0.83C.
As a reminder: The C-rate indicates how the charging power relates to the capacity of the battery pack. For example, 1C results if the power value in kW equals the capacity of the battery pack in kWh. With the Renault Zoe, the battery would have to be charged with 55 kW. 2C would result if the battery were full again in half an hour – in the example, with an average charging power of 110 kW.
Based on the manufacturer’s data, it was clear that the maximum C-rate would be low. But it is lower than the second-generation VW e-up (as well as the structurally identical Skoda Citigo e iV and Seat Mii Electric models), which is a surprise.
Renault Zoe: How quickly range is recharged?
Finally, we are also interested in how quickly the Zoe can reload range. This value (in kilometers range per minute of charging time) depends on the power consumption. We calculate the latter from the WLTP range of 395 kilometers and the available battery capacity of 52 kWh. This results in a power consumption of 132 watt hours per kilometer, i.e. 13.2 kWh / 100 km. (Note: the range is that of the "R 110 52" version, the top version R 135 52 with the more powerful electric motor only manages 386 km. The power consumption of the R 110 52 in the German price list is 17.2 kWh / 100 km specified.)
The following graphic shows how quickly the range can be recharged at different charging levels (SOC); As always, we assume the calculated power consumption in our fast charge analysis.
The average value for recharging range is (in the charging range of 20 to 80 percent) at 4.4 kilometers per minute. [Calculation method: The average charging power when charging from 20 to 80 percent of 35,000 watts here is divided by the power consumption in watt minutes per kilometer, here 7,920 Wmin / km.]
It’s not really fast. Therefore, the purchase of the relatively expensive DC fast charging option is rarely justified. The standard 22 kW on-board charging system should be sufficient for most buyers.
Comparison with other small electric cars
Now let’s see how the Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 beats when compared to other small electric city cars. This includes the Peugeot e-208, whereby the results should also apply to the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, the Opel Corsa-e, the Peugeot e-2008, the Citroen e-C4 and the Opel Mokka-e. But also the BMW i3 (42 kWh), the Mini Cooper SE and the second generation VW e-Up (with its clones Skoda Citigo e iV and Seat Mii Electric).
Peugeot e-208 GT
Mini Cooper SE
Comparison of the charging curves
Even a superficial comparison of the charging curves shows immediately which model charges the fastest: the Peugeot e-208 (black curve). It offers the highest charging power (up to 100 kW), although the power drops quickly towards the end of the charging process.
The rest of the competitors have maximum charging powers of less than 50 kW. Both the BMW i3 and the Mini Cooper SE maintain this level for a long time thanks to their liquid-cooled battery packs. The Zoe and the triplets from the VW group are left behind, but these are also less expensive volume models.
Comparison of the C rates
The comparison of the maximum C-rates is interesting because it shows what we have already stated above: The Zoe (red curve) is at the lower end of the scale; it has the lowest maximum C-rate, which is still below the triplets of the VW group (yellow curve).
The Peugeot e-208 starts very strongly with 2C, but the C-rate drops at a charge level of around 50 percent. Then the Mini Cooper SE (blue) and the BMW i3 (green) are in front. The Mini shows a significantly better curve than the BMW i3, in which the C-rates remain practically constant up to over 85 percent – while the blue curve of the Mini rises to around 1.5C. The smaller battery of the Mini (29 kWh net) apparently withstands a similar charging power as the BMW (38 kWh net).
Comparison in terms of range reloading
Our last comparison is perhaps the most important, because it shows how much range is filled with the various small electric cars per minute of charging time.
The Peugeot e-208 also stands out positively here. At the beginning it charges about 12.5 kilometers per minute and only falls behind the competition when the charge level is around 65 percent. Both the BMW i3 and the Mini Cooper SE are fairly constant at 5 to 7 km / min, while the Zoe Z.E. 50 just beats the VW group triplets.
Here are the average values for recharging the range in the SOC range of 20 to 80 percent:
- Peugeot e-208: 6.7 km / min
- BMW i3 (42 kWh): 6.4 km / min
- Mini Cooper SE: 6.1 km / min
- Renault Zoe Z.E. 50: 4.4 km / min
- VW group triplets: 3.9 km / min
The Renault Zoe doesn’t cut a very good figure when it comes to fast charging. The maximum charging power of 50 kW suggests from the outset that the Peugeot e-208 (including the other Stellantis electric cars based on the CMP platform) charges faster with its 100 kW. This is also the case in practice.
Perhaps even more important is how quickly an electric car can recharge range. Here, too, the Renault Zoe is not very convincing. With 4.4 km / min it beats VW e-Up & Co, but the other competitors are significantly further ahead with values above 6 km / min. Here, too, the Peugeot shines and is ahead of the premium competitors BMW i3 and Mini Cooper SE.
More fast charge analytics: Tesla Model 3 SR + and VW ID.3 in a duel: who charges faster?
Hyundai Ioniq 5: Charging curve confirms fixed range reloading
- Some values on the charts are estimates based on the data source
- The temperature of the battery cells can have a very negative effect on the charging capacity. We have no data on the temperatures of the battery at the beginning and during the charging process. At low or high temperatures and after very dynamic driving, the charging power can be significantly lower than indicated in the diagrams. In extreme cases, the charging process can even be completely impossible.
- The text has been compared to the English-language original by Mark Kane changed significantly. Above all, we have explained some values and calculations in more detail and added a conclusion.
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