Zoe keeping her cool / how do i keep warm when charging?

Zoe R135Gt Oct 2020 - I havent yet found a way of keeping the cabin heater on whilst connected to a rapid charger

Pushing the On button until the heater controls light up allows for selection, however only delivers a cold output variable by fan and direction - even ‘Hi’ for 2 mins still delivers ambient air

Pushing ‘On’ with foot on brake, turns charger off as it expects to be driving off (despite cable connection locking it out)

Sooo, how do I keep warm when sitting in the car half an hour during a splash and dash re-charge when it is freezing outside?

Use the app to precondition. Just sit in car with it turned off. start precondition, and repeat each 10 mins.


Just to add to this, depending on when your specific Zoe was made you might have to lock the doors with yourself inside to start preconditioning, but can then unlock again once it has started.

Note also that when preconditioning it will be quite loud with the fans blowing powerfully in any direction it sees fit, and while it will be warmer than sitting in the car without the heater at all, it may not be particularly hot.

Unfortunately the Zoe wasn’t really designed with this in mind. Most other models will allow you to simply switch the car on and use the heater as normal while charging.


ooooer - my first Zoe biggish dislike then…

What happens if I get stuck in the wilds of Yorkshire Dales, due to local road icing etc - does Renault literally kill off the occupants!!! - Surely u must be able to run the heater for safety purposes - there is plenty of running time available

Further, I thought a car camping mode was standard to EVs

Oo-er Missus. There’s a non-PC joke in there somewhere!

I was this close to choosing a Zoe as my starting point… then thought, no, I’ll have the Zoe second, after winter’s done and dusted…
I’m really pretty sure I won’t want one now…. But you really don’t know all this stuff until you really get driving and appreciating EVs …. It’ll be a nightmare for the average-car-pleb (no offence intended) as take up accelerates :flushed:

Honestly I don’t think things like this will bother the average person making the switch. For most people they are used to their ICE Car not being able to pre-heat or stay warm without running the engine anyways.

Even the cheap and simple EVs like Zoe are still quite high-tech when compared to their ICE Counterparts like the Clio for example. Even if not quite up to Hyundai levels that both of us have now grown to appreciate.


…but we are talking having survival being taken away…

How frustrating would it be, sitting on a potential 50kw heater in a remote snowdrift overnight…knowing that some clown hadnt thought to offer static heating s/w setting! - a real easy ‘win’ over ICE too (although in theory you could at least run the engine all night)

Clearly the 10 min de-frost blowing is of no practical use, even if u could be certain to remain awake overnight…this shortcoming is crazy!

As you said though it’s not really affecting survival. It’s just when plugged in which you can get around by doing a remote pre-heat. Once unplugged you simply just leave the car switched on and it will remain on running the heater for as long as you desire.

It’s certainly not terrible by any means and still better than an ICE.

If it really does worry you too much then the Ioniq is still calling your name, tempting you to spend just an extra £19 for the comfort of heating while charging AND heated seats and steering wheel too… Amongst many other goodies like adaptive cruise control


@griff just like an ICE I would put my foot on the brake and press engine Start and turn up the fan and heat setting. I think I read somewhere on here that the Zoe has a supplementary heating element? Maybe completely wrong on this later point though.

I do this all the time but obviously can’t when charging so use the 10 min preconditioning option then.:older_man:

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It has a heat pump system as well as a resistive heating element yes. But you have no control over which is used. And neither will be available during charging other than remote or timed preconditioning.

The resistive heating element is just for times where the heat pump isn’t able to output enough heat to the cabin. They don’t work so well if it’s too cold outside for example.


Thanks for the clarification @Koda :older_man:

ah, so it would work non stop if required if u get stuck out for the night in freezing conditions - I usually find that the radio and heater time out after just a few mins

Why this feature isnt available when an extra 45kw supply is added, I cant imagine - u dont always have the option of a warm refuge - eg car park at midnight…

Hmm, wasnt aware Iconiq similar price - what is real summer and winter range on that? - like idea of adaptive cruise

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…re Ioniq, just checked…150 miles!!! - No way, Zoe does 50% more!

If the "engine " is started as if you were ready to drive, no timeouts occur.:older_man:

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The Ioniq is one of the most efficient cars there is. You can do some amazing things in that car and can get more than 200 miles without trying too hard. Amazing for something with only 38kWh battery and proves just how efficient it really is. Since the battery is smaller it will charge faster than the Zoe too.

Remember with Onto you can swap around. Try one for a month and you won’t be disappointed. I can almost guarantee you won’t want to go back to the Renault though.


Koda is, as usua,l 100% correct. The Ioniq has always been one if not the most efficient cars available and is not beaten by the new Ioniq5.
Its a sizeable car with great room, bootspace and lots of tech, very efficient and lots to fall in love with.
Quoted range is not the greatest parameter to compare cars and many other factors come into play.
If you try one, you will be loathed to swap again.


hmmm, thanks guys…and also for reminding me that to try one for a month or two, thanks to Onto is very easy :slight_smile:

If I really can get over 200 miles summer and 150 winter range, then it would become of interest (though I am terrible volunteering for any ‘changes’…and love Zoe)

Realistically I average 4.3 mls / kwh in summer and more like 3 in sub 10c weather

Does it have a higher than 46kwh actual charge rate (Zoe limit) - Full charge under an hour?

…so I did a little looking…

Iconic Ontoers are suggesting less than 190 miles even in summer - I wouldnt willingly surrender the additional 30 miles I get from Zoe

Now, if Iconic hadnt skimped on the battery and fitted a 50kwh pack…

Just come back from charging the Ioniq - certainly always comfortable while doing so, but …

… Quite often getting 4.7mi/kW or more

But not the fastest to charge - yesterday I saw 44 - 150 Shell after a 60 mile drive - but today only 33/34 - 50 Shell

And it gives you pretty much what is on the GoM in my experience, but think you’d be pushing it to get more than 160 mi…

… bearing in mind this is all against a backdrop of 12 degrees + yesterday and 14 degrees this morning…

But really nice to drive for something that looks like a taxi!! :wink:

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Cheers old bean(o)

I too find the looks challenging and my suspicions re what I thought the range was in reality, confirmed by at least one user

I currently have 220 summer range and seek 300 as soon as economically viable via Onto

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