The ZOE’s 12 volt battery

In one of the UK fora, there was quite a discussion about the 12 volt battery. I did some investigation and here is what I have found so far.

  • the battery is a normal car battery, read, a lead-acid starter type battery. I assume same as i.e. Clio;
  • the battery is needed to boot the car. Without it, the 400 volt system cannot be activated, which is a deadlock.

As for charging and jump-starting, this is all verboten by the manuals. With that disclaimer in place:

  • you can jump-start the ZOE by connecting another isolated battery and starting the ZOE. It will start charging the empty battery immediately;
  • alternatively, charge the battery with an external charger, but then always disconnect the minus pole of the ZOE first;
  • jump-starting another car is possible (as it is a starter battery), but again, always disconnect the ZOE’s minus first.

6 Comments on “The ZOE’s 12 volt battery

  1. Does this explain why the ZOE’s battery is being replaced every 3 years? This is a least what my dealer told me! Mine has thus been replaced on Friday, but of course in insisted on getting the old one ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • The standard maintenance scheme is to replace the battery every 3 years. I think I will have it tested and then decide. After all it is my car and my battery. If it is iffy I will not hesitate to replace it immediately with dropping temperatures.

  2. I experimented with the 12 V battery and found that if I charge the 12 V battery with external 14 V charger the stand by load on the 400 V battery went to 0 (from 300 W reported by the can ze).
    I try to disconnect the battery and everithing works fine without the 12 V battery.I can drive around wirhout 12 V Battery.
    And yes you can jumpstart a zoe even without the 12 V battery installed.
    everithing works until the main 400 V contactor switches off.(didn’t try ABS)
    I have R240,dont know about q210.

  3. I was thinking to install li-ion 12 V battery and disconnect the onboard charger for 12 V battery but I didn’t find witch fuse or wire to disconect.
    I would connect it only when charging main battery,and thus extend range by 5 % by my calculations.

    • 5%? That is one kWh and would require a 80 Ah battery.

      I.e. power steering runs on the 12 volt bus, so you either need to make sure that either:

      • critical systems like these run off the inverter (negating your 5%),
      • be damned sure your 12 volt battery is capable of supporting you on even the longest drive (including fans, lights),
      • start charging anyway when the voltage drops below a certain threshold.

      I don’t know which cable comes from the inverter.

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