Renault Zoe charge time

Considering going electric with a Renault Zoe but not sure whether the charging times will work for you? Keep reading for the facts...

James Wilson
Aug 26, 2021

Charging an electric car like the Renault Zoe is a big deal. Not just because it gives the battery pack the electricity it needs to function, but because it is important for drivers to be aware of how long they will have to wait to fill the batteries. Imagine the annoyance of an electric car with a 300-mile range that took four days to charge.

If you have only ever experienced petrol or diesel cars, electric vehicles (EVs) can seem a bit confusing, however, with a little bit of research it should all start to make sense quite quickly. Things like connector types, maximum power supplies, and even the different types of onboard charging technology are all very important. Below, all of these will be discussed in relation to the Renault Zoe.

Renault launched the Zoe in 2013, which was very much ahead of its electric competition. Since 2013 there have been a number of updates and tweaks to the Zoe but the most significant changes came in 2020. As such, that is how this article is split, covering Renault Zoes made from 2013 to 2020 initially and then Renault Zoes made from 2020 onwards.

If you come across an acronym or word you haven’t heard before, fear not as they will be explained along the way. Alternatively, you can take a read of our electric car jargon buster for a complete breakdown of the key EV words and terms.

One really important term for electric cars is ‘kWh’, which stands for ‘kilo-Watt hour’. ‘Kilo’ simply means 1,000, just like a kilogram is 1,000 grams. Watts are a measure of electrical power, with 'hour' referring for the amount of time this level of power can be sustained for.

A kWh value or rating tells you the maximum power a battery can produce for an hour, so from there you can figure out how long it will last at other power outputs. Take a 60kWh battery pack, this could in theory supply 60kW for one hour. Alternatively, it could supply 30kW for two hours or 15kW for four hours and so on and so forth.

Fortunately there's no need to get too involved in the maths but it is useful to remember as a general rule - the more kWh a battery is rated at, the greater the theoretical range it should be able to offer.

RENAULT ZOE BUYERS' GUIDE

Renault Zoe (2013 to 2020) charging information

In the world of EVs, there are charging connectors, charging ports, and charging cables. As long as the charging port of an electric car matches the charging connector at the end of a charging cable, you should be ready to plug in and replenish the battery. Read more about charging connectors here.

When it comes to charging ports, the Zoe is about as straightforward as it gets. All models come with a ‘Type 2’ port that is cleverly located behind the Renault badge at the front of the car. A Type 2 port is the European standard - legally, all new electric cars sold in Europe have to have one. As a result, finding a suitable charging point for a Zoe is relatively easy.

Some models were available with the option of rapid charging using a power supply of up to 43kW, but these used the same Type 2 connector as standard Zoes. The most common speeds for charging are slow, fast, and rapid. Each one is defined by how much power they supply, as the more power a battery can handle being fed into it, the faster it will charge.

A slow charger will supply around 3kW, whereas a fast one will supply somewhere between 7kW and 22kW. A rapid charger is typically rated at around 40-50kW but they can go way beyond 100kW. The difficulty with rapid chargers of 100kW and upwards is finding one, as they are very rare. All rapid chargers need a heavy-duty power supply well in excess of what you can expect at a residential property, so they tend to only be found at service stations or other commercial charging points where you must pay to use them.

Using a regular household socket will be classed as slow, while domestic wall boxes that are installed specifically for charging a car at home are normally classed as fast chargers. All Zoes come with something Renault calls a ‘Chameleon’ charger. It is so-called as it will automatically adjust to the power supply of the charge point you are using to send the maximum amount of power the battery is designed to handle.

Renault Zoe (2013 to 2020) batteries and ranges

Between 2013 and 2020 the Renault Zoe came with two battery packs. The first was a 22kWh pack that was claimed to be capable of 130 miles from a full charge. In July 2015 Renault tweaked the software of the Zoe which meant new 22kWh models were theoretically capable of travelling 149 miles on a single charge.

In reality, these figures are optimistic, as is the case with fuel economy figures for similar age petrol and diesel models. Renault has been very upfront about this from day one, though, suggesting a range in the region of 60-70 miles would be more realistic in very cold weather. In normal conditions, 75-99 miles should be achievable. Another thing to bear in mind is that 22kWh models were tested for range under the now outdated NEDC test procedure, which led to less realistic figures.

In 2015 Renault launched a 41kWh model. This version was claimed to have a maximum range of 186 miles per charge but importantly this was calculated using the then-new and more realistic WLTP procedure. The figure is still more than most drivers will achieve in real driving - with traffic, particularly hot or cold weather and other factors reducing how far you can travel - but it is much closer to what you can expect to achieve than if it was an NEDC value.

On a positive note, if you do lots of stop/start town driving, you might actually find your range gets very close to the official number or even surpasses it. This is thanks to 'regenerative braking', which helps to recoup energy that would otherwise be wasted when slowing down.

Renault Zoe (2013 to 2020) charge times

Below we've broken down the charge times for the 22kWh Renault Zoe and 41kWh Renault Zoe. It is worth being aware that it's considered good battery practice to only rapid charge a battery to around 80% full - to avoid adding unnecessary wear to the battery - so the times quoted for rapid charging reflect this.

Model/batterySlow charging (3kW)Fast charging (7kW)Fast charging (22kW)Optional rapid charging (43kW)
22kWh8 hours3-4 hours1 hour30 minutes (0% to 80% charge)
41kWh14 hours7-8 hours2 hours 40 minutes1 hour (0% to 80% charge)

Renault Zoe (2013 to 2020) battery charge costs

If you want to work out how much an electric car will cost to charge at home, all you need to know is the size of its battery and the cost of your electricity per kWh. Normally your home energy provider will tell you what your cost per kWh is when you sign up with them. To calculate the cost, multiply the size of the battery (in kWh) by the cost for one kWh of electricity.

As an example, charging a 22kWh Renault Zoe with an electricity supply that costs 17p per kWh, means multiplying £0.17 by 22 - which equals £3.74. If you were to charge a 41kWh model, it would cost £6.97. If you use a commercial charger, such as one at a service station, you can expect it to cost significantly more.

Renault Zoe (2020 to present) charging information

2020 was a big year for the Renault Zoe. Not only did it get a revamped look inside and out but it also got a new battery that could - according to official tests - cover nearly 250 miles per charge.

When it comes to charging there was one big change - the addition of a CCS (or combined charging system) port. A CCS port allows a CCS connector/charging cable to be used, which is specifically designed for rapid charging. Handily the CCS connector is an evolution of the Type 2 connector, so the Zoe still only has one charging port and it is impossible to put either a Type 2 or CCS charging cable the wrong way into it.

Renault Zoe (2020 to present) batteries and ranges

Since 2020, all Renault Zoes have come with a 52kWh battery pack which is claimed to offer a range of 245 miles per charge. The same caveats apply to how much range you can expect, as with the older 22kWh and 41kWh batteries, in that there are a host of variables that can impact range - such as the ambient temperature and how much stop-start driving you do.

Renault Zoe (2020 to present) charge times

Below we've highlighted the charging times for the 52kWh Renault Zoe. In general, you can expect longer charging times, since the newer Zoe has a larger battery, meaning it can store more energy. Another thing to note is that the maximum charging capacity of Zoes with the ability to rapid charge increased to 50kW.

This means that those Zoes can charge at a faster rate than older models, though the larger capacity means it would still take an hour to fill the battery to 80% - the same amount of time as with the 41kWh 2013 to 2020 model.

Model/batterySlow charging (3kW)Fast charging (7kW)Fast charging (22kW)Optional rapid charging (50kW)
52kWh18 hours9 hours 25 minutes3 hours1 hour (0% to 80% charge)

Renault Zoe (2020 to present) battery charge costs

Being that the 52kWh Renault Zoe has a bigger battery pack, the cost to fully charge it is greater. Assuming an energy cost of 17p per kWh, the cost of a full charge is £8.84. Provided you get 200 miles from the full charge, which should be realistic for most drivers, there aren’t any petrol or diesel cars that will travel as far for just under £9.

 

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