Updated 2015 Renault ZOE Coming – At Least 8% Range Increase

DEC 16 2014 BY STAFF 31

Now The Renault Zoe Using The New Flexi Charger Cable Will Be Able To Charge At Up To 11 kW Instead Of Just 3

Renault Zoe Using The New Flexi Charger Cable

The Renault Zoe is set for an upgrade this spring.  And one of the main new additions is a completely new electric motor, made in-house by the company.

In a media blast sent out by the company on Thursday the company says that this new engine means that Renault has “reaffirm(ed) its electric vehicle strategy and its desire to develop a comprehensive level of expertise in this field.”

The "New Hotness" In EV Engines From Renault - More Output, Less Size = More Future Applications In Smaller Vehicles

The “New Hotness” In EV Engines From Renault – More Efficiency, Less Size = More Future Applications In Smaller Vehicles

Renault states the new engine (pictured at right) is both more compact, lighter and more efficient than that found in the Zoe today.

The company isn’t giving exact specs at this time but notes the volume of the engine has decreased by 10%, which means it opens up new opportunities to use it for smaller vehicles“, while the overall efficiency has been improved as well.

Renault says of the engine:

This is a synchronous electric motor with wound rotor developing 65kW and peak torque of 220Nm, complete with an integrated Chameleon charger.

Integration, miniaturisation and simplification are the three objectives that guided the designers of this motor.

  • Integration: switching from macro-module stacking to fully integrated modules
  • Miniaturisation: the design of smaller modules, assembled closely (minimisation of space between the modules, doing away with external power supply cables)

‘Three in one’: the junction box, power electronics and Chameleon charger are all contained within a single system entitled Power Electronic Controller, enabling a 25 percent reduction in the size of this group of functions.

  • Simplification: switch to air cooling for the electric motor (removal of inter-module ducting). Only the Power Electronic Controller continues to be cooled by water, adapted to its specific needs.
Current Zoe Engine – Bigger/Less Efficient

Current Zoe Engine – Bigger/Less Efficient

Of note: the 43 kW AC charging ability will be deleted in favor of a 22 kW set-up in the future as the new system will also be brought in-house.  Renault says the 43 kW charging ability was rarely used.  However, standard charging will come off the current 3 kW cap.  Handy for charging up that 22 kWh battery.

Refinement of the charging system at low power:

The designers have improved the electronic management of the charging process in order to reduce charging times using low-power infrastructure (flexi-charger cable for domestic networks, 3kW and 11kW electric charging points).

Enhanced efficiency: thanks to the comprehensive redesign of the inverter system, the designers have been able to improve efficiency, thereby reducing the consumption of electric energy.

At an event in Paris last week, Renault said that the new engine should be good for a 8% or so range increase on its own (before taking into account other increased efficiencies of the car such as an integrated inverter).

Currently, the Zoe is rated at a range of 210 km (130 miles…or about 88 miles on the more realistic EPA scale), so look for at least an addition 20km (13 miles ~8 miles EPA or about 96 real-world miles) in the final product.

Check out the full “Innovations@Renault” document here.

Categories: Renault


Leave a Reply

31 Comments on "Updated 2015 Renault ZOE Coming – At Least 8% Range Increase"

newest oldest most voted

This is actually a downgrade in charging speed as the new version won’t be able to charge with 43kW AC anymore, just 22kW. Hopefully Renault decides to offer CCS as an option.

The 43kW charger was the weekest point in Zoe. It’s great for Reanult to dump it.
There are plenty 22 kW AC chargers throughout Europe, so i think it’s a good move.

They basically made the Zoe a city car only with the downgrade. 22 kW charge on longer trips will surely feel like too slow. I’m dissapointed as it is a step backwards.

It’s like an EV manufacturer would decrease the battery size in their upcoming models with the claim that “their customers almost never use 100% of the battery charge in one trip before rechargeing”.

@Aas: The weekest point? Like: I would by the Zoe, but the 43 kW charging is just to fast…?

Please explain.

I’ve never had any problems with the 43kW charging.
When I travel internationally (which I have done on more than one occasion) I am very, very happy to fill up in less than 30 minutes. Increasing that time to an hour is not an option in my mind. I wouldn’t buy a ZOE with 22kW max charging speed. If they ditch the 43kW AC charging, they should offer an alternative that charges at least as fast. If that has to be CCS, so be it.
This is a horrible move by Renault.

Very curious about the real world range and driving characteristics

If what they are saying that they raised the 3 killwatt an hour charging to 11 kilowatts a hour on a level two charger that is a big improvement that should knock six hours off of recharging times.

The eight 8% range raise is good I wounder could they add a few kilowatts to the battery like make it a 27 kilowatt battery instead of a 22 kilowatt battery.

This article is very sloppy.

What happen (rumour) was that Renault decided to drop the 43KW AC charging capability. Now the max will be 22KW.

Charging at 3KW and 11KW will be more efficient.

The chameleon charger is the only the Zoe has, for fast charging or slow charging…

There is nothing that says that the flexi charger cable will not remain as a 14A portable EVSE.

The new, more compact motor will also be used in Kangoo ZE and possibly in the future Twingo ZE.

more and more affordable BEVs inching towards that EPA 100-mile threshold… (except Renault is unlikely to submit the Zoe to EPA testing anytime soon…)

…in short, your move, Leaf!

You move Nissan..only when they decide to drop the rental thing on the battery. Some countries they decided to opt out, but not in all..

The size reduction in the motor unit, is impressive.

Am I understanding this correctly that the AC Inverter that drives the motor and the charger are now integrated into one module? It always seemed odd to me that the AC Inverter acts as a charger while regen braking, but the charger itself was a separate module using similar high power handling parts.
I would expect that this also means the price will drop too.

That’s right. The Chameleon-charger simply describes the method of charging the car with the motors inverter. So no real change in the charging-method, just a downsizing.

Why doesn’t everyone charge that way? Safety regulations don’t permit a system, which has no galvanic separation. An AC/DC-motor inverter wouldn’t work with that kind of separation. But charging without it could result in DC-currents flowing back to your AC-home-grid, which has no protection against DC-currents. For this reason, Zoe EVSEs need to have a special AC/DC-fuse, which makes them more expansive.

It’s kinda complicated, but that is how experts explained it to me.

Thank you for the explanation.

dropping the 43kwh charging capability would be suicide! RIP Renault zoe

I bet it is replaced by CHAdeMO, which would be more powerful and cheaper to implement. Isn’t that fairly prevalent in France?

I’ve not heard anything about CHAdeMO from Renault.

If that would be the case, I would be OK with it. Or CCS. But neither has been announced. I wouldn’t count on it.

It depends. At home you can charge at 32 amp 400 V triphase 22 KW and rarely more. Even Tesla limits home charging to 22 KW. But then indeed for a very long trip this almost implies that Renault has to add a BMW i3 style Rex in the car to make it able to cope with all situations.
If Renault makes a new successor of the sedan Fluence with a 22 KW home charger and a rex, that could sell like hot cakes.

That would be genius I’d love to see it. Imagine having a little car that could charge that fast at home or work with a Rex, would give the model 3 and leaf 2 a run for their money especially if there was a slightly bigger version that was about the same in terms of drive train. Not sure if the battery could handle 22 kW every night though, maybe it could, that would only be 1C. Still I would love to see it done.

And what about the Multichargers with 43 kW AC from fastned and other which are build in next 6 months…

Every owner of a 2013/2014 Zoe will appreciate them. Better get a used one fast, before the prices will explode.

22KWh is the generally accepted maximum AC charging level for CCS. As only AC charging requires use of the onboard electronics and motor my thinking is that the next Zoe will be CCS. DC charging bypasses all the motor electronics and directly connects to the battery systems and so dropping support for 43KWh AC charging makes a lot of sense – cheaper, smaller and still supporting the new international standard.

I just hope I’m right because, as another poster said, losing the 30m quick charge entirely would kill the Zoe, esp. in the UK where the vast majority of motorway chargers support 43KWh AC charging and so removing it would be a significant backward step.

Interesting article – maybe 150 miles of real range is the sweet spot for EVs. Especially will gas prices in decline lately. Hoping for a battery breakthrough.

I see this as also a step to internationalising the Renault offering. Fast 43kW AC is not universal, but 22kW AC is becoming fairly common in some parts of the world, and increasingly as Tesla makes its presence in that other network not often discussed – public HPWCs. There are plenty of markets where the Zoe would provide a very different product. There is also the Kango ZE that needs to step up and compete with fast charging Nissan van. Once again, a great pity that the world has not harmonised to Type 2 Mennekes for both AC and DC. Tesla is pushing 120kW through an adapted interoperable version. As I understand things, Renault is wedded to Type 2 Mennekes, so what path will they take for fast/rapid charging?

I like the Zoe, a nice small commuter car, too bad it’s not available in the US. If the range improves to 120-150 miles (as seems likely) maybe 43kw AC charging is less important. The article says 8% improvement from the new drive unit, pair that with an upgraded battery and Renault has a winner.