Renault Zoe ZE 40 battery details

Renault Zoe with 400 km NEDC range at Paris Motor Show

Before going to the new battery, let’s see the characteristics of the older one.

You’ll find this video lecture from Renault very interesting.



First generation battery:

  • Total weight is 290 kg (280 kg are quoted in the video, but in every other source is 290 kg)
  • Total capacity is 25,92 kWh (192 x 36 Ah x 3,75 V = 25,92 kWh)
  • Available capacity is 23,3 kWh
  • 192 cells, each with 36 Ah nominal capacity and 3,75 V nominal voltage
  • Total cell weight is 165,12 kg (192 x 0,86 kg = 165,12 kg)


Second generation battery:

  • Total weight is 305 kg
  • Total capacity is 45,61 kWh (estimation by knowing the usable capacity)
  • Available capacity is 41 kWh
  • 192 cells, each with 63,35 Ah nominal capacity (estimation) and 3,75 V nominal voltage
  • Total cell weight is 180,12 kg (estimation by knowing the total battery weight)


The total battery capacity can be even higher, because last year a LG Chem worker told me that the new cells were 65 Ah, not 63,35 Ah that I estimated in this exercise. If the real capacity of the cells is 65 Ah, this give the battery a total 46,8 kWh capacity.


My considerations about the second generation battery.


While the usable battery capacity increased 75 %, the total cell weight was only increased by 9 %. Why is this important?

The new battery cells only have 9 % more raw materials than the older ones, but since the capacity was increased by 75 %, this means that the kWh cost was heavily reduced. This is why more energy dense cells not only increase electric cars range but also decrease the kWh cost of their batteries.


I’m not sure, but if the Chevrolet Bolt EV uses the same cells, the total battery capacity can be as much as 68,415 kWh (45,61 kWh / 2 x 3). Remember that the Chevy Bolt’s battery has 288 cells (96s3p) instead of 192 cells (96s2p) used by the Renault Zoe – and also probably by the upcoming Nissan Micra EV.


What can we expect for the future?

If you saw the lecture video in the beginning of this article you already know that Renault’s next planned step for the Zoe is approximately 600 km NEDC range, but only by 2020. This is exactly what is possible with the new technology acquired from Sion Power by LG Chem.


It seems that automakers are waiting for 2020 to release electric cars with 600 km NEDC range (450 km in the real world). This was recently made clear by Volkswagen when the company said that the electric car inspired by the I.D. concept will be available by 2020 and priced “on a par with comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf models”.


What do you think? Is this second generation battery technology enough to make electric cars mainstream? Or we’ll have to wait for the third generation in 2020 to further increase range and reduce the kWh cost?

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

14 Responses

  1. Yogurt says:

    It is definetly a step in the right direction but prices need to fall too…
    I think EVs are at least 5k USD too expensive based off what the Toyota engineer said about the cost to produce 100 mile EVs and hybrids in addition to the fact that almost everyone pays at least 5k under MSRP for Nissan Leafs with first gen battery tech…
    The second gen battery tech should reduce there prices even more…

  2. Christian says:

    Don´t you mean 96s2p and 96s3p? (= a series connection of 96 parallel double (tripple) cells).
    It is possible to have two (parallel) “chains” of 96 single cells, but this has other pros and cons. I think some e-busses have parallel packs…

  3. James says:

    I told non-EV-interested members of my family about the ~50% range increase and only minor price increase and they were shocked.
    They see have to have really cut down the standard spec compared to the first gen Zoe which is a shame
    But the previous high-spec was always there to counteract peoples reticence due to limited range

  4. Christian says:

    I just did a google fight “2p96s” vs “96s2p”. It came out 590 to 1100.

    Btw. the (old) Tesla battery is “96s x 72p” 😉

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hello Christian.

      I’ve been using 96s2p and 2p96s with the same meaning, but I guess you’re right. The 2p96s expression is more adequate to describe a battery pack made with two batteries connected in parallel, not the cells.

      I’ll change it to 96s2p in this article and in the rest of the blog.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Terawatt says:

    The cars coming now really are enough, but they won’t be the ones going mainstream simply because going mainstream takes many years, even after a new and better technology has become available.

    I’m reminded of an experience I had while still a student at the turn of the millennium. Digital cameras were becoming cheaper and better very rapidly. They were considerably more expensive to buy than a film based SLR type camera, but much cheaper to use, making them competitive on total cost for a hobby photographer. The Nikon Coolpix 990 had just arrived, and was the first digital camera of real interest for the consumer market. It was obvious to most observers who understood anything about the technology that they would take over soon though. I went to a store to check out the camera first hand, and chatted to the store owner. And came away quite shocked at how completely ignorant he turned out to be about what was happening at the core of his own industry. I recall him confidently telling me that digital cameras would never be as good as film ones. They couldn’t render smooth gradients such as the sky, he informed me.

    That was in 2000. I bought my first digital camera in 2002, and obviously have never looked back. But even in 2005 film cameras were a huge part of the camera market. It wasn’t a matter of the film cameras being better, it even much cheaper, than the digital ones at that point. It was just that it takes time before everyone has become aware of the new technology, all of its advantages, and how to mitigate any drawbacks.

    Electric cars will be a similar story. The ones coming in 2017 really are good enough. If the only future development was larger production volumes, and the only price reduction came from that, they would still beat ICE. But of course the development doesn’t stop just because they are better than ICE. And the cars in 2020 will be better and cheaper still.

    We should definitely see an effect on sales in 2017, but because cars are a huge purchase and people are fairly conservative – it must feel very risky to buy an EV unless you either have a lot of money or you know a lot about EVs – it will be several years to get to a significant market share. 2% share in 2017 world mean things are on track and going about as well as they can.

  6. Mr Ian Burrows says:

    3rd generation is usually the tipping point in most technologies. It does depend how you define 3rd generation but it is usually the breakthrough point at which cost and functionality match the existing technology.

    The delay is in education and acceptance of the new tech.

    It happened with iPhone and Android and is why the established brands in non ev are focusing on 2020 as the sweet spot and need to be ready.

    I just hope battery tech follows Moore’s law and we can see a doubling every 2 years or so. They said it would never happen with Moore’s law and with the right investment and importance it still holds today. So in 10 years a battery or what we call it by then will hold equivalent of 1500 km in same size but probably will be 1/3 of today’s battery size and do 500 km on a few minute flash charge.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Absolutely, the third generation will make a real impact in ICE cars sales.

      But unlike phones, with cars, governments do play a role. Because of this more progressive countries will replace ICE cars sooner than the rest.

      The best way to do it is to increase taxes for ICE cars (including gas taxes), making them more expensive to run and buy. When ICE cars sales start to drop, automakers will have to sell more BEVs to compensate it. Only then they will drop the BEVs prices to make them mainstream.

    • Jorge Vidigal says:

      Just a comment about “Moore’s Law” in the semiconductor industry…it’s finished. The doubling stopped some time ago. Currently we’re only achieving 10 to 15% increase (performance) every 20 to 24 months…2018 probably will be the end for improvements when the physical limits are reached and quantum mechanics makes it impossible to go further (you simply can’t shrink it any further). You can read more about it here:

  7. Alnair says:

    I just ordered a new Zoe ZE 40 Intens yesterday. It cost me 26815€ before gov. help + 199€/month, unlimited millage.

    Since due problems in Spain gov. no purchase aid was approved yet, Renault applies a 5500€ rebate this month. So final purchase price for me is 21315€. Add also around 1000€ for a wallbox.

    I compared the total cost of ownership (including electricity/fuel, maintenance, …) with a Toyota Yaris Hibrid and for an expected 25000 km/year it’s barely the same in a 8 year lifetime. So I choose Zoe because I feel is more practical for me, and the more km I do, the more economical will be.

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