Hidden behind the Renault diamond logo front and centre on the radiator grill, New ZOE’s charge port now houses a Combo charging outlet (CCS). It combines the traditional type 2 socket-outlet, already used for previous generations, with a new two-pin connector dedicated specifically to direct current (DC) charging.
This way, New ZOE can still use an alternating current (AC) to recharge, at up to 22 kW of power. Such AC charging covers everyday use, from home charging at night to fast charging stations located in the car parks of employers, tourist sites and shopping centres.
The added DC fast charging, on the other hand, opens the door to the direct current charging stations located along major motorways.
Able to handle 50 kW of power, New ZOE takes full advantage of the possibilities offered by the majority of such stations. A simple 30 minute stop is enough time for it to regain the equivalent of 150 km driving range in a mixed cycle.*
“New ZOE embodies our vision of a vehicle that is both affordable and perfectly in tune with drivers’ needs. 50 kW fast charging and its increased range are two direct ways of achieving that goal”, says Éric Blanchard, Project Director of Electric Vehicle Motors and Batteries.
Groupe Renault’s electric city car is the only vehicle to combine AC charging up to 22 kW with DC charging up to 50 kW, giving it an unprecedented degree of flexibility when it comes to using the most common private and public charging facilities.
AC, DC: New ZOE owes this unrivalled flexibility to its two separate charging circuits. For alternating current (AC), the Caméléon Charger built into the car turns the electrical signal sent from the terminal into a current that charges the battery. To do this, it uses some components of the power electronic unit that were developed to provide propulsion. That’s what gives the ZOE so much flexibility, capable of AC charging from 2.3 kW to 22 kW.
The mechanism allowing it to handle direct currents is a little different, since in such cases the charger is built directly into the terminal. This apparent simplicity actually hides a more technically complex reality: to handle the differences between one station and another, or to avoid the power load dropping off after a few minutes, the car must be able to filter the current sent by the terminal before sending it on to the battery.
Onboard New ZOE, this mission is in the hands of a dedicated electronic control unit called DC Box. Developed by Renault, it is manufactured at the Cléon plant, just like its electric motor companion. The Z.E 50 battery has also been optimised to handle this high-power charging load, as has the software that controls the car’s electrical supply system.
* The duration and distances mentioned here are calculated from results obtained by New ZOE during the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure, standardised cycle: 57% urban driving, 25% suburban driving, 18% motorway driving), which aims to represent the actual conditions of a vehicle’s use. However, they cannot foresee the type of journey after recharging. The recharging time and the recovered range also depend on the temperature, battery wear, power delivered by the terminal, driving style and level of charge.
Copyright : OHM, Frithjof – Agence : Frithjof Ohm INCL. Pretzsch