Renault Zoe charging time and efficiency

Renault Zoe charging time

It’s not a secret that the Q90 powertrain built by Continental for the Renault Zoe has low charge and discharge efficiency. While the low discharge efficiency results in lower range than we have with the R90 powertrain – designed and developed in-house by Renault -, the low charge efficiency results in wasted time and electricity/money.


Let’s compare the charging efficiency of the two Renault Zoe’s powertrains. To build the table below, I used the information available in Renault France website. The charge was set to 80 % for the ZE 40 (41 kWh) battery.


Charge rate

Renault Zoe R90 – ZE 40 battery

Renault Zoe Q90 – ZE 40 battery

Charging time

Charging efficiency

Charging time

Charging efficiency

2,3 kW (10 A)

20 h

71 %

24 h 20 m

59 %

3,2 kW (14 A)

13 h

79 %

14 h 20 m

72 %

7,4 kW (32 A)

5 h

89 %

6 h 20 m

70 % (1)

11 kW (3×16 A)

3 h 20 m

89 %

3 h 20 m

89 %

22 kW (3×32 A)

1 h 38 m

91 %

1 h 40 m

89 %

43 kW (3×62 A)

1 h 38 m

91 %

1 h 5 m


(1) this figure doesn’t make much sense, since in the old Q210, the measured efficiency at 7,4 kW was roughly 90 %

(2) the charging efficiency at 43 kW rate can’t be accurately calculated since it’s not maintained for the whole charging time


More than range, it’s the charging efficiency the main reason why I can’t recommend the Q90. Unless you have at home a powerful EVSE, you’ll waste much time and electricity/money charging a Renault Zoe Q90.

Having the Q90 and R90 powertrains is a mess that Renault could easily solve by adding a CCS socket – to support DC fast charging – in the Renault Zoe R90.


To sum up, whether you choose the R90 or the Q90, avoid charging at 10 A as much as you can. If you can, install a 11-22 kW EVSE at home to take advantage of the three-phase internal charger, it’ll be faster and more efficient.


If you ordered a Renault Zoe, which powertrain and EVSE did you choose?



More info:

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.

15 Responses

  1. voimavirta says:

    R90 3x6A, 3x7A…3x10A efficiencies would be interesting.

    1x32A and 3 x 16A seems to have same percentage in the chart, so could i assume efficiency to benefit from 3~ with 3x power even with lower amperages.
    Maximizing solar use in equation.

    • kvleeuwen says:

      My Zoe won’t charge at less than 3x14A.

      A R90 with CCS (the 41 kWh pack should be able to charge at 82 kW) would be a no-brainer.
      It’s a shame the 41 kWh pack was not released along with CCS.

  2. lo says:

    Nice comparision!
    I heard so many horror stories about ZOEs: cracking dashboard, charge interrupts, forced sleep mode, motor trouble, charging noise, shutting down of charging stations. (Unthinkable in my trouble free C-Zero!)
    I still like the conti power train better, but I think one has to worry less in an R90.

    Living in a rural area, CEE16 3ph sockets with 11kw but no RCB are at every house (for the log splitter?) A 3ph ICCB like the NRGkick would be perfect, but I built an EVSE with parts from (highly recommended).

  3. Stefan Ko says:

    I dont care about that
    No one will charge 41 kWh with 10A 1-Phase
    Takes too much time for both versions 😉

    And beginning from 11 kW – effiency is the same or no big issue at all.
    And therefore, 43 kW capability is much more important to me, than higher efficiency when talking about Schuko speed 😉

    That’s why i bought Zoe Q90 in october 🙂

    • Magnus says:

      I guess that “no one” is me then 😉 I charge with 10A 1-Phase at work 🙂 Yesterday during work i charged from 10% to 50% before i left for home. Today when i arrived at work i had 26% left estimating i will end up with around 60% when i leave work today. So i do not have to charge at home actually 🙂

    • Eivind Hafslund says:

      I don’t see anywhere any measurement of energy consumed from the grid? How are you able to calculate efficiency when you don’t know the energy consumption from grid? The data with higher efficiency on higher powers seem to me strange. But that the different charging powers have different actual current draw, and control algorithms based on voltage drops etc could explain the big differences.

  4. filip bjurling says:

    I still think the 43kW charging option is such an advantage i would choose that option if it was available in sweden. I would then install a red three phase plugg and buy a charging cable with that connection. I could then bring the cable with me for use at other red plugg outlets. Schuko is not good to use anyway

  5. Eduardo Francisco says:

    I would go for R90 and 7.4kW charger (1×32 A). Mainly because I would prefer to have single-phase at home, since it is generally cheaper than 3-phase.

  6. Stefan Ko says:

    I use the NRGkick for CEE 16 or 32 red plug. 3 Phase 22 kW – perfect.
    But one point is true:
    New ZOE 41 kWh more range is only important at the first full charge (or each full charge).
    Because if you go to recharge the car at a 43 kW charger – both -> the old 43 kW ZOE and the new one are at the same speed at all – so the time for driving and recharging would nearly be the same (and therefore there is no difference between them on a longer trip).

    That is why the 41 kWh ZOE would have been great if he got already CCS 80 kW or so 🙁

  7. Alnair says:

    I bought Zoe ZE40 R90, and my charger is 1x32A. I regularly charge from 75% of the battery capacity during the night (1 a.m. to 7 a.m.), when electricity is cheaper in Spain.

    Regarding electric consumption efficiency, after driving my Zoe and connecting it to the plug for a later programmed charging, the car start AC in order to refrigerate the batteries. It can easily consume 1 KWh in this process as I deduct by my hourly electricity consumption. In summer this can be worst.

  8. arne-nl says:

    This is a common misconception.

    Renault advertises the Zoe to charge at 11 kW, 22 kW, etc, while they should say 11 kVA, 22 kVA.

    What is true is that cos phi is rather low, especially at lower charging rates. This however has nothing to do with efficiency. Charging effectiveness, yes that declines, but efficiency, no.

    I measured charging efficiency of my Zoe by comparing the power as reported by the power meter in my charger circuit and usage as reported by the on-board computer. Charging mostly at 11 kW, lifetime roundtrip efficiency was 87% (Roundrip = charger + battery).

    Another data point: The power meter installed in the charger circuit would always display a power of 8.8 kW when I was charging at 11 kVA (falsely advertised by Renault as 11 kW). This 2.2 kVA difference is NOT LOSSES. It is reactive power. Learn about reactive power and the difference between kVA and kW and you’ll understand.

    So, sleep well, your Zoe isn’t stealing your money 😉

  9. Daniel U says:

    arne-nl have a point but is only partly right.
    Some of the potential charging effect can not be utilized due to fase lag/reactive effect.
    The power meter only messures the Active effect so you do not have to pay for reactive losses.
    However, there is a substantial loss of active effekt in the charger at lower amps.
    This is because the inverter is optimized for higher current (ie 32A)
    The charging effeciency can simply be calculated from number of kWh delivered to the battery (You can get that from CanZE-app + OBD device) devided with number of kWh reported in the power meter in charger Circuit.
    At lower current (<10A) the efficiancy droppes under 70%

  10. TomC says:

    It’s not a problem of efficiency, but a problem of power factor. The charger has a low power factor at low power. This means that there is no that much waste of active power as you say.

  11. Jim Andersen says:

    I am not an electrician/engineer/scientist, so I am not able to determine if Pedro is correct when he states that the Q-version is more expensive (uses more electricity) to charge when slow charging (using granny cable), or if arne-nl is correct when he says the Q-version is not stealing money (it is only stealing time).
    I am not concerned with charging time, just the amount of electricity used for charging it.
    I am looking to buy a 22KWh Zoe, and plan to charge with the granny cable at night (from a dedicated socket/outlet), so I want to know if I should look for an R og a Q-version.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *