Renault Offers New Longer Range ZOE With R240 Powertrain Alongside Old Q210

MAR 25 2015 BY MARK KANE 36

Current Zoe Engine – Bigger/Less Efficient

Q210 powertrain

Renault already introduced in France the new version of ZOE powertrain called R240, which through higher efficiency enables the car to drive 240 km (149 miles) on NEDC compared to 210 km (131 miles) using the previous Q210 powertrain. The ZOE’s 22 kWh battery pack from LG Chem remains the same.

R240 will not replace Q210.  Instead, the updated powertrain version will be offered in parallel to Q210.

One might wonder how much more expensive ZOE with R240 and 15% more range is. Well, it’s cheaper…by €500! After deducting €6,300 in incentives, the R240 ZOE, without batteries, starts from €15,600 ($17,000) in France, but you must choose one of the battery rental schemes.

Ok. So who will buy the Q210 with shorter range now? Q210 can be fast charged using 43 kW 3-phase in one half hour, while R240 accepts just 22 kW AC (like Tesla Model S). This is probably the only advantage the old setup has over new version, but we are still not sure whether it is sufficient to convince customers.

Which version would you choose?

Renault ZOE

Renault ZOE

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36 Comments on "Renault Offers New Longer Range ZOE With R240 Powertrain Alongside Old Q210"

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Without a DCFC-option at all, 30min for a full charge at 43kW is the better deal compared to 15% more range but having to wait 60min for a full charge at 22kW imho.

But short commuters may decide otherwise.

Exactly. When going on longer trips 22kW charging just doesn’t cut it.

It’s great to see options starting to appear in the EV space.

As far as what I would choose, it seems like the trade-off is charging speed versus autonomous range. It would really depend on the availability of 43kW charging stations. If there were plenty in areas I would want them (e.g. between major cities), I would gladly choose the Q210. It would be better equiped for longer-distance travel.

On the other hand, if there weren’t chargers in convenient places, the R240 makes more sense.

In the UK there are now 43kW AC rapid chargers at all motorway (freeway) services.

You can see the potential for an Intel like ‘Tick Tock’ development model. Renault has done this improvement without a change to the battery. Next comes a battery change from LG and presto we are over 150 miles EPA equivalent.

These monolithic design changes like the Volt Gen 2 is not what the public will accept in modern product development – go like Apple today, or the automotive industry in the 50s/60s. People expect a rapid rate of change, not 4 or 5 year product life cycles. In EVs you should be able to do this with a Tick Tock approach

Interesting observation. Certainly the automakers need to invest significant capital to overhaul their production lines for each iteration. But with your approach, they can still get 6 years out of say the new motor, while increasing the cars’ performance every three years. Then they get 6 years of out the battery production lines too. It’s certainly a new challenge, but if someone can figure this out, they will own the market with a much faster (but maybe less dramatic) improvement in their offerings.

My money is on Nissan/Renault and/or Tesla for doing just that.

I don’t think people care too much about the rate of updates to any one model. As long as there are several models from different companies on different update schedules, people will be happy. We’re living in a time of greatly reduced (overall) brand loyalty. I never owned/leased or even drove a Nissan until I leased my Leaf in 2013, and I love it. (My only real gripe is the far too loud HVAC, which is all the more noticeable in an EV.) But I feel zero brand loyalty to Nissan. If Kia gets off their hindquarters and starts selling the Soul EV near me, it will get a very serious look when my lease ends, as would a Fit EV (assuming Honda has an attack of common sense and brings it back), a Prius EV (ditto), etc. Again, we’re going through an enormous upheaval in the car industry, and it will take a fair amount of time for things to “sort themselves out”, as we economists like to say. And with such a big change to an enormous industry like motor vehicles, that “sorting out” is going to have a lot of surprises for everyone, successes and failures, and… Read more »

Now that we are back to discussing the Zoe, why is it that no one else uses the Chameleon type architecture for recharging?

Is it because it only works best with 3 phase input from mains power, akin to what regen produces?

Have wondered why the rest of the world goes to the trouble an cost of an additional onboard AC charger.

I have wondered the same. It is nice that the Kangoo will now also get the new setup (up to 22kW charging) but more 43kW capable models would be a good thing in my book.

I applaud Renault for offering both setups though I would have preferred a setup with the new engine and stuff for added range but with the old inverter for 43kW charing.
Since I use my ZOE for international travel, the new setup isn’t an option.

“Old inverter”

The Chameleon charger is tightly integrated with the motor, as it uses motor windings as coils. You can’t separate the two. So, new motor, new inverter.

Apparently the trade-off for higher efficiency and a smaller package was that it couldn’t handle 43 kW anymore.

That’s too bad, it would have been a very attractive combo!

Either would work for my commute if it were only sold in the US. I unfortunately need a range of 100 miles in cold weather and can’t afford a Tesla.

Renault Norway website saying Zoe now having 23,3Kwh battery.
http://www.renault.no/ze/zoe

And also price is for R240 is 500 euro cheaper than previous version in France.

22kw vs. 43kw does not mean double the charging time, not even close. The higher the charging current is the sooner it will have to taper off to protect the battery. The Tesla Superchargers for instance may be capable of delivering 120kw and more, but they hardly ever do so for more than ten minutes at a time, even with totally empty batteries.

Yeah, well – the 43kW charging can really get you from 10%-90% in 30min. Like the Volt, Zoes battery uses not all of it’s capacity. It’s like 27kWh nominal and 22kWh usable. So the upper range where charging would get really slow isn’t usable at all. But charging speed drops rapidly after 90%, that’s right.

11% to 99% in 35 minutes in my experience. So it does make quite a difference.

I concur with Surya – the tail off near a full charge with a ZOE is very slight, massively less than with a Leaf.

I have the 43kw one.

What happens is that the chargers appear from crowd funding one after an other. To set up a 43kw fast charger you need just 1.500€.

Thats the real Benefit. Everybody can offer a fast charging station. Compared with CCS / CHAdeMO its nothing from investment point of view.

BTW “old” ZOE charges very efficient single phase from 16A on. Below it is not so good, but works down to 9A.

With 32A i would bet that there is no significant difference between ZOE, Leaf and e-Golf on single phase.

It would be more accurate to use the word “Effective” instead of “Efficient”.

The issus is cos phi which rapidly decreases below 32 A. At 3x16A, my power meter shows 8.8 kW effective power.

The cos phi causes the charging to be slower, but the difference is not wasted energy. Renault talks about charging at 11 kW, 22 kW and 43 kW, but it would be more accurate to use kVA instead.

kW = kVA * cos phi

Let’s do some math. The 240 is basically claiming a 14% range improvement. However, if the battery is the same size, heating or AC will still cost the same amount of energy. So the full range improvement will only be seen in perfect weather. In winter or summer, the range improvement will be less.

So this is nice but it is no substitute for an increase in battery size. But if that happens the 22kW charge rate becomes even less attractive.

So I don’t really understand where Renault is going here. What happens with a future 30 or 40 kWh Zoe? Does it stay with a 22kWh charger?

I was wondering the same. If the battery gets bigger you want faster charging rates, not slower!

There is information missing in the article. The choice is not just between slower fast charging/longer range and faster fast charging/shorter range.

An important fact is that the old Q210, the faster charging one, is much slower at charging at low amperage (below 16A at 230V). In fact, if you charge it let’s say at a B&B or camping on a normal 230V outlet, you need more then a night to charge, which is very unpractical. The R240 solves that problem, so on a normal socket the Zoé now behaves like a Leaf and you can finally slow charge without problem at grandma. But it is traded in against 43kW quick charging.

So the real choice is this one:

Q210: 150 km real life range/43kW fast charging/slow charging under 16A takes more then a night (at 8A it is 22 hours!)

R240: 180 km real life range/22kW fast charging/slow charging within one night even at 8A.

Correct, to add:

For just 50€ you get an IP67 capable outlet from Renault for 14A, which charges at Home or at grandma in 8-9 hours with 3kw.

Only on “unknown” outlets ZOE reduces to 9A in Germany, which is slow.
But if you arrive with 30% SOC, even that charges overnigt with 9A.

You can always use your mobile Box and override the 9A to lets say 12A, if you think the outlet and cabling can do it. But that is something for “Advanced Users”.

If the Prices come down to a Reasonable Level, Along With 500 miles of Range for starters, Would Transform me Into A Buyer.. IT CAN BE DONE SOON!

30 km (20 miles) is significant increase. Hope this will boost the sales of that vehicle.

In China, 300,000 low speed EVs powered by Lead batteries were sold last year. Hope those vehicles are sold in other countries as well.

Hi all,
I wonder: would this car fit in the USA ? What is your opinion ?

It is kinda cute but pretty small. And it would lose the 3-phase charging abilities. (I’d trade it for a DC fast charger and stay in Combo-1)

As a Zoe driver, my first reaction was: “What, no 43 kW charging !!!!???? Never in my life!!!””

But after some time, I’ve changed my mind.

Yes, on longer trips the 22 kW charging is definitely slower than 43 kW. But think again: you have to charge less with the R240 because it is more efficient. You can drive a larger distance between chargers. Furthermore, above 85%, the charging process reduces speed and 43 kW quickly becomes 22. In reality I’ve had to wait for an hour at 43 kW because I needed the battery charged to at least 95% to be able to reach next charger, with charge to spare for a plan B.

In my day-to-day usage (the other 360 days of the year), the longer range and faster home charging would be very welcome.

And you save 500 euros. If you value your time by 20 euros per hour, then consider first 25 hours of lost time at the fast charger already paid for :).

The AC fast charging is a dead end, so Renault ditched it with good reason.

KIA is already moving beyond 50 kW with the Soul EV. The others will follow suit. Given how the Chameleon charger is integrated with the motor, my guess is that >43 kW would become a very expensive engineering effort.

Renault will quickly add a CCS option to the R240 and kill the Q210. Then you get the best of both worlds: fast DC charging and 3-phase home charging. I expect CCS and CHAdeMO to quickly move beyond 50 kW and Renault can easily follow the competition without having to redesign their motor.

CCS + 22 kW AC is a killer combination. Bring it on Renault!

My thought exactly.

22KW AC should be standard. And for faster charging we should use bigger and more efficient DC chargers outside of the car. 43kw charger inside a car, if it’s 90% efficient it means 10% inefficiency, and 4,3kw of heat inside the car when the batteries are already hot isn’t a good idea.

This can be done with CCS or even with the mennekes type 2 socket Renault already uses for AC charging. Like Tesla does in Europe with the Model S. But I guess they will go with the CCS route.

Any idea when the new motor will be available outside France?

I got the new Zoe, and so did a co worker. We have two Renault EVs as company cars as well. You get a 11kW charger at home, included with the car. It takes about 100 minutes to charge it from 0-80%. At work we have 22kW chargers. I usually charge at work, since it’s free – and both me, and my co worker have fully charged cars before lunch, when the company cars are back for charging. It works really well. I bought this car just to get to and from work, but is has ended up being our primary car. Our insurance company charge the same for EVs no matter how much we drive it. And free charging at work.. it’s a winning combination. I drive it to work, go shopping, to the gym, drive the kids to the after school activities and so on. Should have been able to tow a small trailer though. . By far not as quick as the Tesla, but much more in my price range. And with the rate of charging locations on the rise, EVs is easier to own. A food chain will have chargers at all their stores now too.… Read more »

Hello T.Barrett
By “new Zoe” did you mean the “R 240” 22kW increased range version? I’m trying to get our dealer to tell me when this version will be available and am getting nowhere. If you’ve got the R240 version I’d like to know who supplied it.
Thanks
Fred

In an email received today 29/04/2015 from Renault Customer Services it was stated that the Zoe R240 would be available to order from mid-May in the UK but no delivery date was given. At present the original Zoe model appears to be on about 3 months delivery for factory orders.