“Battery charging impossible”. I bet your heart sank when you saw that error message on the dashboard of your Renault Zoe.
After all, you own an electric vehicle. If you can’t charge its battery, how are you supposed to power your car? How will you be able to drive around? How complex is this issue?
As a Renault Zoe owner, I understand the worry that can come with seeing this error message. However, in most cases, the problem is not with the car itself but with one of the external parts involved in charging it. This means that troubleshooting the issue may be simpler than you think.
It also means that you should start by checking these external parts involved in charging the car. Only after should you proceed to verify the car itself. In this article, I’ll be sharing seven possible fixes for when your Renault Zoe says that battery charging is impossible, following this logic.
So, if you’re unable to charge your Renault Zoe, don’t worry.
With a few simple troubleshooting steps, you’ll be able to get your car charging again in no time.
1. Check the Power Supply
Start by doing the most basic check: is the charging station connected to a power supply? Especially if you’re charging at home, it might happen that the power went out and you failed to realize it.
This could all be down to a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse.
This actually happened to me. In the first couple of weeks of having my Renault Zoe, I didn’t have enough contracted energy where I lived. So, if I was charging the car and turned on any other machine, the power would go out.
Often, I’d end up just cutting the power supply to the garage to allow me to proceed using the other machine. The result: next time I’d go charge the car, I’d see a “Battery charging impossible” error message on the dashboard.
If you’re charging at home and you see this message, make sure your charging station has energy. If this is the case, only then proceed to any other more complex fixes.
2. Check the Condition of the Charging Cable
The next thing you should check is the charging cable.
This is what serves as the conduit between the charging point and your car’s battery. If there are any issues with it, you’re likely to experience charging difficulties.
To begin, take a close look at the cable itself. Is it frayed or damaged in any way? Even small nicks or tears in the cable’s insulation can cause issues, so be thorough in your inspection. If you notice anything off, you may need to replace the cable. However, before you incur that cost, try charging with a different cable to see if the problem gets fixed. If so, then you really need to repair or replace the cable.
If the cable looks good, check if it is properly plugged into both the car and the charging point. Sometimes, the connection can come loose, leading to charging interruptions. Try wiggling the cable gently to see if it’s loose, and if so, re-seat it firmly.
If all seems well with the cable but the battery still isn’t charging, it’s time to attempt the next fix.
3. Is the Charging Point Functioning Properly?
Another potential cause of a “battery charging impossible” error (also known as BCI error) on your Renault Zoe is a faulty charging point.
You might be charging at home or at a public charging station, and this impacts the way you can solve the issue. If you’re at a public place, try connecting your Renault Zoe to a different station — at the same location or in a different one. If it works, good news: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your car. You can now charge it properly again.
If you’re charging at home, it’s a bit trickier to troubleshoot this. Ideally, if you have a friend who owns an EV, ask them if they can try charging their car at your charging station. This will rule out whether the problem pertains to your car or to the charging station. If you don’t have a friend to ask for this favor, proceed to try the fixes below.
4. Evaluate the Condition of the Charging Port
If you’re experiencing a “battery charging impossible” error on your Renault Zoe, it’s possible that there’s an issue with the charging port itself. This can be due to several factors, such as debris or corrosion blocking the port, or even a loose connection.
To check the charging port, first, visually inspect it for any signs of damage or blockages. Do you see any debris or corrosion? If so, carefully clean it out with a brush or cloth. Avoid using water or any cleaning agents that could damage the charging port.
Next, try gently wiggling the charging cable while it’s plugged into the port. If it feels loose or isn’t making a secure connection, this could be the cause of the charging error. Try plugging the cable in more firmly or adjusting it until it makes a secure connection.
Some Renault Zoe models have a locking mechanism on the charging port that can be engaged or disengaged using the key fob. Make sure that the locking mechanism is disengaged before attempting to charge the car. You can disengage it by clicking the corresponding button on the key fob or, sometimes, a button in the car, as shown in this video below.
5. Try Restarting the Charging Process
Another cause for the “battery charging impossible” error on your Renault Zoe is an interrupted charging process. In this case, restarting the charging process may be all you need to resolve the issue.
To do this, unplug the charging cable from both your Zoe and the charging point, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in. This can help reset any issues that were preventing the car from charging.
If restarting the charging process doesn’t work, try waiting a bit longer between unplugging and replugging the cable. In some cases, giving the system a bit more time to reset can make a difference. You can proceed in the following way:
- Remove the charger if you have one connected.
- Lock the car, and wait until all internal systems and displays have powered down completely.
- After a few minutes, you will hear a click. At the same time, the LED in the lock button on top of the R-Link will turn off.
- You will hear a second click after a few minutes. Wait another two minutes.
- Unlock the car and try to charge it again. The whole process should have lasted at least 6 minutes.
If you’re still unsuccessful in charging your Renault Zoe, try the fixes below.
6. Look Out For Software Issues
As usual with the Renault Zoe or any other electric vehicle, the root cause of the issue might lie in software.
This could be due to several factors, such as a glitch in the system or an outdated software version.
To address this issue, you can check online if there are any software updates for your car specifically. Go to this website and enter your VIN number.
The exact place where you can find your VIN number depends on your car’s model, but it’s usually on your V5 document, as well as inside your car, engraved somewhere. Try the driver’s door or the trunk, as shown in this video.
Updating the software on your Zoe is usually a quick and straightforward process. It that can be done at your dealership or through a remote software update. Your dealer will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that your Zoe is running the latest software version.
7. Could You Be Experiencing Battery Failure?
If you’re still experiencing a “battery charging impossible” error on your Renault Zoe after trying all of the previous steps, it’s possible that the problem lies with the battery itself.
While rare, battery failure can occur in some electric vehicles.
This can happen due to a number of factors, such as very old age, extreme temperatures, or improper maintenance. If the battery has failed, you may need to replace it to solve the charging issue.
To determine whether a battery failure is the cause of the problem, it’s recommended that you have the battery checked by a professional.
If the battery does need to be replaced, it’s important to use a high-quality replacement battery, compatible with your Zoe. Your dealer or mechanic can recommend the best options for your specific model and help you with the replacement process.
We’ve gone through several possible causes of your Renault Zoe’s battery not charging. These included checking the power supply, the charging cable, point, and port, restarting the charging process, checking for software issues, and finally addressing the possibility of battery failure.
I hope that, by following these steps, you were able to solve your problem and can now charge your Renault Zoe again.
Thank you for reading! If you’re interested, why not check out these other articles?