Month: February 2016

There is always a risk of listing the bad things, which could easily lead to the false impression things are “wrong”. On the other hand, it is nice to have some sort of repository of issues and their solutions. One of them is this one.

Both a neighbour of mine as well as a driver in the UK had the problem that the car refused to charge. Her “nose” gave a double blue flash. From what I have understood there are two possible issues:

  • the car is accidentally in timer mode. Check your R-Link for the timer settings (though there should be a clock symbol in the display), and your app;
  • the TCU is defective.

In both cases mentioned, replacing the TCU by the dealer solved the issue. It is kind of interesting as it suggests that Renault implemented the battery’s “DRM” through a mechanism that it will still work, but not charge anymore. It sounds as a rather safe approach as you’d stop somewhere on a safe spot to charge anyway. What is not very very OK is that the car does not indicate in any way that the car disable charging because of a signal from Renault, or lack thereof. Now you’re basically clueless. The whole thing also suggests (yes, speculation mode!) that the battery needs to be unlocked on a regular basis and if it’s unable to contact big brother, the battery will refuse to be charged. On the other hand, I had a communication failure for weeks without additional problems. My TCU was not defective/replaced though. It’s an interesting subject and there is no clear cut answer yet.

Seems like I was wrong on the “DRM” as user Harm suggested in the comments.

Frédéric is  working on an IOS version of CanZE. It will take some more time before a first very alpha version will be released. Until then, here some screenshots if the new app.

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As the original head lights are what we call “glowing nails”, I decided to replace the bulbs with HID (“xenon”) types last summer at the Zoe drivers meeting. It does entail some cutting in the rubber cap and a small metal clip, but all in all it was rather doable, about 10 minutes work per lamp. I must say it is something I would never want taken away anymore. Visibility is so much better. And the white-blue light fits the Zoe pretty good. Recommended.

Still it wouldn’t be fair not to state the drawbacks.

  • Sometimes one of the HIDs won’t start. It is a rather common problem. I always check the reflection. Switching off for 20 seconds usually solves the problem.
  • HIDs have a start-up time of roughly 30 seconds. As the Zoe has projector lamps with mechanical shutters, flashing during daytime is impossible.

Development of LEDs has been going at a crazy pace. Temperature management seems to have been the most serious issue. A few fellow drivers have installed these types of LEDs and are reporting good results. The fanned out copper mesh wire seems to cool the thing quite effectively. I am not 100% convinced of the longevity but the light is comparable to the HIDs and the two mentioned issues are non-existent.

Edit: Harm Otten posted his experience with two LED headlight systems in his ZOE here (in Dutch but google translate is your friend). Based on that, if I had to do it again, I’d use the ones he installed instead of the HIDs.

BTW, the tail lights are LEDs and integrated in the lamp holder. Braking and Turn-signal are colored traditional bulbs.

Whoops. A nasty crash for first time users forced us to release a fix on short notice.

We will release a new version today. As usual, a lot of under-the-hood things, especially reducing the footprint of the application and small speed improvements. No major changes, but you can find a detailed change list here but these are the highlights.

  • Several improvements in the consumption graphs screen, including a low pass filter on the real consumption per 100 km line.
  • Small changes in the logging.
  • Added 12 volt reading (several drivers had flat batteries this winter) and the kilometers of the battery (if you had your battery changed) in the technical charging screen.
  • Added an experimental screen with parameters about the battery-clima interaction.

Enjoy!

The AC charger cables have a resistor between protective earth (PE) and the proximity pin (PP) pin to indicate

  • that the plug is inserted
  • that the plug can therefore be locked (type 2 only)
  • the gauge of the cable, and thus the maximum current

Note that the PP pins are NOT wired through the cable. The most common resistor values and also those of your standard Renault cable are 220 ohms, corresponding to 6 mm2 and 32 amps continuous, and 680 ohm, corresponding to 2.5 mm2 and 20 amps continuous. These are per strand values and the power varies given the number of phases used.

These PP-PE resistors should be installed on both ends of the cable, which I had not realized before. Yesterday I helped a friend changing his home charger from a socket type to a fixed cable type, so that he didn’t have to get the cable from the trunk every evening. The cable came pre-wired with the resistor in the plug, but it didn’t work. Only when we installed a PP-PE resistor in the charger itself, indicating the cable was inserted on that end, the charger started the process. The other side effect is that if you measure the connectivity between the PP pins on your standard Renault cable, you’ll measure a confusing 440 ohms. That’s because both ends are wired to the ground lead with 220 ohm resistors.

1500 Ω resistor – 13A cable
680 Ω resistor – 20A cable
220 Ω resistor – 32A cable
100 Ω resistor – 63A cable

A few pictures of the battery pack of the Zoe opened up. Enjoy!

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