3 Months with Zoe Q&A & Ecotricity's new chargers - EV Part 7

Well its now been around 3 months with my Renault Zoe Electric Car. Here's a bit more of a detailed review about my Zoe and Electric Cars in general along with even more questions, debates and such that I have had.

Q & A Section!

Here's questions that some twitter followers and friends have asked me to answer.

Q: What's the ball park cost for getting a charger installed at home?
Asked by @robmarkcole
This really seems to depend on where you live. For me it was £550 after £500 grant from the government.

Q: I understand (to a point) the envrionmental side of going electric, and the money, but have you found that these things are good enough to offset the convenience and practicality of a traditional ICE car?
Asked by @thematabot

This is a bit of a mixed one, for long journeys you do have to plan beforehand and spend the time charging of which from one angle is bad and from another after an hour having a short break while driving is nice.

However if anything I'd say they're more convenient for day to day driving around town. Because I have a home charger I always start at 100% charge never needing to go to a petrol station. Another feature is I can press a button on my keyring and it'll defrost the windows ready for me to get in which is more convenient than having to go out and wait for it to defrost.

Overall I'd say it varies on your use case, because I only do long journeys every month or so the day to day stuff is more convenient.

Q: How Does Winter affect your range in actual use?
Asked by @archieroques

Mostly day to day it doesn't affect as I only primarily do short journeys. But it could affect the difference of being able to go to Norwich or not. For long journies it either means charging it up higher at each stop or having an extra shorter stop.

Q: Can you pre-heat from mains power while on the charger?
Asked by @drfootleg
Indeed you can! And its more recommended if you can to reduce the amount of electric out of the battery while charging as the climate control will be warmed up.

Q: What is the difference between a Q and R Zoe?
This'll come in handy next
Renault Zoes can only charge using AC charging however have the ability to do this at up to 43KW depending on various factors.

Ecotricity's new chargers

As well as the Q&A I thought I'd do a bit about my view on Ecotricity's new chargers.


As a "Q" motor owner this partially affects me and can quite heavily, changing potentially 1 and a half hours of charging to 3 hours.

However from the other angle they're not terrible, to begin Ecotricity could have just not put any AC charging on at all effectively stopping all Zoe owners from charging. This is much better than instavolt.

At the same time if they are more reliable and actually work then I also can't see an issue, when I relied on an Ecotricity charger I wasn't able to charge on it as there was a fault with it. This could have been a cable, machine or something else at fault but specifically one main reason for these new chargers is reliability.

So if I had to pick between reliable 22KW and not working 43KW there's a clear winner.

Finally some people have pointed out that because the cable isn't teathered and most hybrid owners don't carry their cables with them that its less likely for an PHEV to be blocking the charger.

Overall I don't see why it doesn't have a 43KW as I can only think that tha teathered cable is the bigger cost increase. I don't suspect there's as much of a cost difference between 22 and 43KW charging as there is for the upgrade from 50KW to 100KW for CCS. At the same time the Zoe is meant to be getting CCS Charging soon and only a set amount of existing owners will have this issue.