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Charger Unit Replacement

I wonder if I can ask fellow Twizy owners how many of you have had your original charger unit replaced?

  • I had my charger unit replaced
  • My original charger unit is fine! :slight_smile:

0 voters

We’ve had 3 or 4 of our fleet “done” under warranty, but we’re just having to have one replaced out of warranty. This, I have to tell you, is expensive, and I would advise members with early Twizys still under warranty to seek a replacement if they have any pretext.

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I have had my 12V battery replaced due to it warping

Martin had his charger replaced I think

Thanks to all who’ve replied. I’m relieved to learn that we may have been unlucky with our original batch of 6 which are now out of warranty, so it’s good to know the problem may not be as widespread as we thought, Obviously, Renault will at some point have installed the second generation charger into production models. If you are at all concerned, it is easy to check which generation you have. The newer chargers take only about 1900W at start off the wall at UK mains voltage. The original ones took over 2200W.

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That’s interesting in terms of the voltage/wattage being taken. The limited feedback on battery condition is good but the weakest link seems to be the regulator.

Do newer models take longer to charge then if pulling 300watt less? It may take 4 hrs from flat then.

They do take about 15 minutes longer on an average (50% in our case) charge, I’d say, and I’m guessing - not being a practical electrician - that the original charger might have been less tolerant of UK voltages than the new ones are. 1900W at 240V is now only about 8 amps, while 2200W (which would require 10 amps on most of the rest of the continent) is still only about 9 in the UK.

The chart we use to tell us how long a re-charge from a particular state of charge can be expected to take is now a bit more optimistic than it was, but the latter stages of the charge - what with a lead acid battery would be called the “float” charge - seems to take less time than it did, though I haven’t timed it in any detail.

Ive found that since I had the charger replaced, it blows the house RCD if i have the washing machine and tumble dryer on. I know the tumble is a heavy current device, but the old charger didn’t have the problem. I could quite happily charge it no matter what was on.

Can you confirm what switches off?
A RCDdetects an imbalance between live and neutral current (which almost always represents earth leakage)

While a MCD detects overcurrent (ie. the old re-wireable fuses)

Your (Fuse box) Distribution board will have 1 may be 2 RCD’s and a number of MCB’s.

So if it is the RCD then you need to get the Tumbler drier checked.

That’s strange - have you changed the socket you plug the Twizy into, or the devices/appliances that share it?. We were a bit cautious with ours and charge the Twizy on a separate circuit from the consumer unit. I guess if you have a lot of heavy loads on a single trip a Twizy would be very likely be the “straw” that broke the circuit’s back. If you can get your hands on an in-line power meter - we use one like this - it’s easier to see how much the different devices use.

I’m afraid we’ve had another charger failure in a Twizy which is (just our luck) now out of warranty! Since an out of warranty Twizy probably has minimal market value, if we can’t afford to replace the charger we may have to scrap it (who would buy it?)

We will then need to go through the the battery contract termination procedure, something our dealer says is not terribly clear. Watch this space! Members interested in a 4 year old Twizy without a battery or functioning charger please form a line! :slight_smile:

We understand a warranty extension product for the Twizy will shortly be available. This is cheaper if you take it out BEFORE your warranty expires.

:open_mouth: Sorry to hear that!

Any indication of how much a new charger would cost?

This reference to the charger OEM might be of interest http://www.theprovenceherald.com/portable-battery-chargers-for-electric-vehicles-a-vision-that-has-paid-off/

About £1000, same as last time.

I guess there might be a (small) market for replacement chargers, though there is going to be a huge can of worms surrounding liability for the battery (which continues to be covered by the rental) if it is damaged by the charger or (and this is much worse) vice versa - the situation when a faulty battery damages some other component of an out of warranty vehicle.

Try Here:-

Jeremy Bloomfield
www.ev-support.co.uk :: Home
[email protected]
07736467455

@grumpy-b

He may have some ideas as he has looked into it before.

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Hi,
As yet I havnt done a replacement charger for the Twizy, Its not that simple. There is a lot of integration with the onboard Can systems, and so without taking a working unit apart, following the can commands through the charge cycle, (BMS controller etc) and then trying to replicate them its probably just not financially worth while. A repair of the charger may be an option.
A lot of chargers have issues with dirty mains, so never charge from an almost large enough generator, and if you have to use a generator, only ever charge from a 4kw+ sinewave inverter generator. The problem with cheap generators is the spikiness of the wave form, although the bulk of the sinewave is around 230v it can have a 20v spoke on both positive and negative parts of the cycle, so giving a peak of say 270v. And inverter generator creates any old voltage converts it to DC then with an AC inverter creates a (hopefully) pure sinewave regardless of what the generator is doing and its load.
The same goes for some rural power supplies, we suffer a lot of powercuts in the winter, and the supply can be quite spiky (suffolk not the end of the world) . If in doubt buy a simple spike supressor.
I could be interested in looking at a duff unt to see what the options are.
I would suggest , that if the part has a known issue and there is a known relacement that Renault should be encouraged to resolve the issue. Look at your rental agreement, see what it covers, as the Gov grant stipulated certain warranty periods associated with the battery/high voltage side of the vehicle . Renault may still be liable. It may also be part of the Battery warranty. SInce how could they guarantee the battery system if they have no influence on the way the battery is charged. Grey areas are always worth prodding into.
Also could be interested in the remains as one of my customers uses one as a film camara / tracking vehicle, it now has no roof and a 12mm alloy plate front and back, and looks nothing like a twizy. Its got a lot of mods.

Good points all.

The replacement charger certainly takes less power (and slightly longer, not surprisingly) but as you say it’s bound to be tied in with the engine management system to some extent, if only because something is feeding the dashboard display.

And this level of integration of components, dealer have told us (off the record, alas) that they are terrified of the problem of the battery being damaged by a failed charger because there is an issue of liability. Fortunately (so far) the battery replacement seems to have been without quibble, but if a battery failure should ever instigate a failure in something else - especially something out of warranty cover - they’d be put in an a difficult position explaining the bill to an awkward customer!

There is an extended warranty product for Twizies. It’s available through dealers, and cheaper if taken out early. It would be better for the consumer (us) if any issues like this are resolved between the respective insurers.

I think warranty is important with a vehicle that has a rented battery pack. And especially Renault, whos dealers seem to have little knowledge of the workings of the EVs, and little basic understanding of EV systems.Why should they. I recently assisted a friend who has a Kangoo ze, just out of warranty and it gets a problem it doesnt always initiate and shows a High voltage error on the dash. The dealers started replacing parts, such as the RFID aerial around the ignition key associated with the immobiliser. But ignored the message on the dash. In doing all this they forgot to replug the Hazard and another switch. But didnt resolve the issue and charged a staggeringly large amount for basically nothing. I have my own thoughts as to what the issue is and at last discussion it was behaving itself. But Renault just want to walk away from it. The warranty of the Pack and its systems seems rather vague and if you follow the Govt guidance on the original subsidy, you could construe that this includes warranty on the HV systems. But thats for someone with a vested interest to check out and challenge.
On the twizy the charger is associated with the BMS, as well as the main traction controller.

All true - except, perhaps, the bit about the subsidy. It is a sore point that the most energy efficient and low emission electric vehicle you can buy receives no government subsidy, while the Tesla Model S would not qualify as a low carbon vehicle in the UK if it were not electric.

This is the link to the Govt subsidy details for new vehicles.


But you are correct the Twizy isnt on the list. So I guess the constraints that applies wont apply here.
You could always try getting Renault Finance to get Renault to correct a fault that they know exists that could cause problems with their battery pack and ultimately cause you to seek redress from them.