This is a brilliant story of a ZOE repair by Dutch forum user “Jos Willems”. Here is the link to his post with pictures. You might need an account to access the pics and of course need to read Dutch or use something like Google translate, so I’ll give a short glossary here.

His Q210 stopped 3 phase charging which was a serious PIA as the home charger is 3 phase. Dealership stated the charger was toast and it “had probably taken with it several other components”, leaving the estimate in the 4.000 – 6.000 range, effectively rendering it a total loss. To add insult to injury the dealership offered 0 (zero) value if he were to buy a new car.

Not to be phased, he removed and disassembled the BCB (fairly easy on a Q model, but still “daring”) and found out it was not the dreaded welded relay contact. However the big triple filter cap assembly had seriously degraded; one cap was 5uF, which should be 100uF. After unsuccessfully trying to obtain the original OEM component, he decided to build a new capacitor bank from stock capacitors, if only to make sure this was the actual problem. Guess what? Car charges again as it should. He didn’t state labor time but my guess, excluding many frustrating phone calls was something like 8-12 hours. Component cost was 120 euro. Hats off!

I am usually staying away from criticizing the OEM. There are millions of cars on the road and s**t happens. Here though “the emperor has no clothes”: only because Jos was persistent, fairly knowledgeable and a bit daring he saved himself a ton of money and the environment a scrapped car. The cause was a the most simple component failing, misdiagnosed by the dealer and with basically zero support from said dealer and Renault itself.

By suggestion on the GitHub issue tracker by user dbwarrior1975, we added a simple but IMHO neat feature on the Voltage Heatmap screen. If a cell is being balanced the voltage is shown underlined. This is much more intuitive than the hex values on the Tech Charging screen.

However there is no clear known mapping between the bits in the balancing information and the cell numbers. Some help here would be appreciated. The indications may be horizontally or vertically mirrored, or possibly worse. Any feedback is appreciated. I expect the highest voltage (more red) cells to be balanced more.

SpeakEV user sr06 kindly send me this video. The mechanic is complaining about water/coolant ingress, but that is not why I am posting it. It gives a nice overview of the mechanical build-up of the Q motor. Especially the position sensor was new to me. Also the gearing is shown.

2 weeks ago my 2013 Q210 Zoe refused to charge anymore. At the beginning it was like only sometimes and worked again after a few tries, but rapidly this behavior change to “not at all”. So I tried what I was able to:

  • Let the car sleep for a while and try again.
  • Charge the 12V battery.

… but nothing worked out, so I ended up visiting the national dealer here in Luxembourg. Things over here are still a bit complicated because – for now 8 year already – we have one and only one person that is allowed to touch the high voltage parts of electric cars at Renault. This meant I had to wait 3 days before getting their verdict: the charger needs to be replaced!

After some fast calculations and the question about a new car or not, I ended up giving them my consent to replace the charger but with the condition that I want to get the old one back 😉

You see right, they replaced the entire block, including the filter unit and the cable to the charge port with even the plug lock motor, although I am quite sure that only a very specific part is malfunctioning. Ohhh … you are right: having to pay 3700€, this was a quite expensive replacement, but at least my car now charges again. (I got a Twingo as replacement during 2 weeks … uhh … ahh … it’s a nice small car with which you can make a u-turn anywhere, but that’s the only positive thing a found about it …)

Some changes I have noticed:

  • The charging process starts a lot faster compared with the old charger. After connecting the cable, the “ongoing checks” takes only about 2-3 seconds, which is about 10 times faster than before.
  • The buzzing during the charge process is not as loud.
  • Although my battery health dropped from 102% to 98% after the invention, the range at the end of charge is about 20km higher than before and I’ve noticed that the battery indicated do longer drop very fast on the first half. The magic 98% hints that the battery computer was reset and/or updated so it has to learn how to calculate a reasonably accurate range again.

Dutch forum user “Tomaso” supplied an overview and a few pics of an opened up PEC. The PEC is the combined charger – inverter of the R type ZOE models. It’s crowded in there. Thank you Tomaso!

Set point current (A)Power battery (W) *)Power AC (W)Current AC (A)Power efficiency (%)
20120221306019.26 **)92.1

*) Battery power (DC) was derived from CanZE, voltage times current **) There was an obvious typo in the data I received for this value, 19.26 is most probably the correct value but I must note this could be wrong.

I must say I am mightily impressed by these figures, especially the dynamic range of the efficiency. I hope this puts to rest the “inefficient” fairy tales. Very clever engineering for sure.