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Old 17th March 2023, 03:01   #1
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Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Citroen eC3 from Nexon EV owner's perspective- The warranty policy no one talked about



I went to the Citroen's showroom in my almost 2 year old Nexon EV. Experience with the nexon is for a topic for another day, today is about Citroen eC3.
As I walked into the showroom, eC3 was parked right next to ICE variant- perfect for a comparison.

Initial walkaround impressions



Citroen's front seat ergonomics were really good, felt supportive in all the right places.
Seating position was nice and high, but the headrests poked into my neck and when I reached my hands back to adjust it, found out it was fixed. Being 6 feet tall, this was a major gripe for me. The headrest poking issue was persisted in the test drive as well. Fabric seats are a boon in summer unlike the leatherette seats without ventilation in my nexon ev lux variant.
AC vents design felt very flimsy and it was hard to make out which direction the vents were pointing to. The Bonnet edge was fully visible for me and the A pillar didn't have a huge blind spot issue like in nexon. The steering wheel doesn't have an infotainment mute button, I use that in the nexon a lot and is a major miss for me here.
The headlight adjustment was cable operated and it felt very cheap to use.

Pop open the bonnet



While opening the bonnet I noticed the charging socket switch is right next to bonnet release switch. So expect accidental bonnet opening while trying to open the charging socket.
Inside the bonnet everything felt like a typical EV, orange colored HV cables going into power distribution unit, motor, there was a charging port actuator release cable with a sticker "for emergency only" on it. In earlier days of nexon ev ownership, gun getting stuck in the port after the charging session ended was a commonly known issue with the actuator, later down the line tata fixed it with an hardware update. There was a single tank which stored the motor coolant. Note the word "single", no liquid cooling for the battery pack, hmm we'll get to that in a bit.

The charging port of the car is located on its front right quarter panel. This has some advantages-
You can drive straight to a charging point, in other EVs where the port is in the back, you may have to sometimes reverse into the charging point. By not having to run the HV cables from back to front, the issue of exposed cables in the underbody is solved. One person in the nexon EV community had reported a dog biting the underbody cables and having to claim insurance. But for Citroen it's just about cost cutting. They even didn't bother to change the rear left quarter panel, it still has a cutout for petrol filler!!

AC slow charging



The on-board charger (OBC) only supports 3.3kW AC charging. It is a huge inconvenience. Absolutely no new EV should be launched with a 3.3kW OBC. Even the low range version base variant Tiago EV has a 7.2kW OBC!!! The main problem with this is that car will take quite long to charge. For normal days while overnight charging it won't be an issue. But in occasions where you arrive at your home late at night and you want to leave early next day, you'll find out that your car is not fully charged at that can irritate you like hell. Also, in occasions when you have to do a quick "top up charge" this slow 2.6kW charging will be a pain. 2.6kW? Isn't it 3.3kW you might ask? Well, that's where the fine prints come into play. Citroen advertises the car can be charged with any 15A socket. But the portable charger that comes bundled in the car is 230V 13A. Tata and MG portable chargers are also of the same specification and in my experience these chargers only output about 2.6 kW. I had tested these chargers quite a bit for work related reasons and found some chargers rarely going up to 2.9kW. Also, tata portable chargers are prone to plug top getting heating while charging and the charging power reduces even further! Have to see whether that issue comes up with Citroen's charger. The charger had all other safety ratings, IP water resistance rating etc. printed on it. The only case you'll get 3.3kW power is when you use a 16A charger or at a dedicated type2 charging station. I hope tata gives existing tigor/nexon users to have 7.2kW OBC via a fairly priced update at least.

The test drive



Oh boy, this is where it gets started on how much Citroen got it wrong.

I got in the TD car and started it, no push button start here. The drive selector toggle was unique but lacked the unique feel of tata's rotating dial selector. I double clicked the toggle to go from D to R, it goes to N instead. I play around on it for a bit and then realize that the toggle selector doesn't register double clicks. It only registers individual clicks with a good gap in between. I had complaints about nexon's gear selector slow, but this is on a different level. In nexon's dials you can shift from R to D in one go, you can't do it in eC3. This will be a problem in tight parking and 3point U turns. Also, ORVMs have no electric adjust, so it's a pain to adjust properly, especially if you have multiple people driving the car in a family. Despite having a huge touchscreen, it lacked a reverse camera, sales rep told it was a dealer accessory. Now the drive begins.

Since I was well used to EVs, the instant torquey feel of EVs was nothing new to me. Car felt more underpowered than tiago/tigor EV. Needless to say, there isn't even a comparison between nexon EVs power and this citroen's.
The lack of power was evident throughout the entire TD, whether it was in normal mode or eco mode, it felt lacking, overtaking will require a bit more throttle input than tiago/tigor. EVs instant torque will make the vehicle feel very powerful than it really is to ICE users, but experienced EV drivers will easily be able to identify the difference when compared to other EVs

Transitioning from regen braking to mechanical braking was quite smooth unlike in tata EVs. Also, since it was a Citroen I had no doubts regarding suspension.

Lack of EV specific features

First thing I always do in when in an EV is to put the regen level to maximum inside the city. In slow moving traffic I use this to get almost single pedal like experience where vehicle comes to a crawl when foot is lifted off the accelerator. With a bit of time, we can easily master the skill of slowing down to a halt or crawl by using regen alone. This is very crucial to get good range and better efficiency. I frequently notice that the average efficiency displayed goes up whenever those without EV experience drives my car. In citroen however the regen can't be increased nor can it be turned off for highways.
Similarly, cruise control is used regularly in long drives to "easily" maintain a steady and constant speed without wasting energy unnecessarily.
Lack of both these features makes it a major miss in the EV department as more range could've been harvested.

Instrument cluster lacks crucial EV information

It has an idiotic instrument cluster for a vehicle let alone for an EV. It looks like a digital watch display. It's a huge miss especially in the EV department.

The SOC (state of charge) indication that stays on all the time is in the form of a battery logo with 10 lines in it. This is pretty much useless as EV users "has" to see the percentage value at all times. Also, the press button mounted on the instrument cluster is used to cycle among Trip A, B, exact battery percentage, range left and odometer. Major problem is that only one among these can be displayed at a time. Also, there is no Average Fuel Efficiency being shown! How could Citroen do this. An EV without AFE being shown!? EV users make use of the AFE shown in order to understand if they are getting the desired range and if a change in their driving pattern is getting reflected in the range. No EV users trust DTE (distance to empty) blindly. This makes finding out whether we reach a specific location with a certain charge left in the battery next to impossible.

Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about-23452345_978.jpg

DC fast charging



Since there was a DC charging station nearby, I went there and did a small fast charging test. Surprisingly the car only drew 14.5kW. That's far lower than the advertised 21.5kW according to citroen (brochure claims 10 to 80% in 57mins, after doing the math, it comes to 21.5kW).
Few videos online-one by "talking cars" youtube channel about eC3 spied shows the car taking 16kW at a Zeon charger and another video by "motorscribes" youtube channel show the car taking just 13kW. I assume this much inconsistency and low charging speed has to do with not having liquid battery cooling, which brings to my final take on Citroen's commitment.

Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about-20230316_180447.jpg

Battery degradation, EV specific issues



eC3's battery pack doesn't have any active cooling let alone liquid cooling. Citroen claims eC3 has been tested in all weather conditions. The ICE variant C3 was launched in june 2022, that is after the summer season. So am I supposed to believe that Citroen was testing its electric variant even before the launch of its ICE variant? I couldn't find any spy videos of eC3 getting tested in the summers or doing a fast-charging session in Indian summers. Then how can Citroen make this claim? Ultimately, higher the heat battery produces and accumulates, faster will be its degradation.

SOC drop
Regarding issues and niggles that comes with an EV, it is applicable to eC3 too, Citroen dealership unknowingly told me that once during a fast-charging session the charge went from car to charger. Upon asking further on it, I found out that it was a case of "SOC drop", a common known issue among EVs. I explained to the manager at dealership that power will never transfer from car to the charger. I also explained to him how CCS2 charging protocol works.

The warranty policy no one talked about



eC3's Warranty policy is something to look out for. According to it, warranty won't be applicable in the case of deep discharge, water entry, or battery pack in extreme conditions.
Deep discharge should never be done on EV batteries. But should warranty be voided due to it? Also, even though battery pack is IP rated water entry won't be covered under Citroen's warranty. Tata's warranty policy has no such concerning clauses. I personally know a couple of Nexon EV owners who got their battery pack replaced under warranty due to water entry.

Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about-20230316_172710.jpg

Conclusion



Citroen makes some really good cars, but unfortunately, I feel this isn't one of them. The fact that they launched an EV with half the power of ICE variant and no liquid cooling for the battery pack is equivalent to mocking the Indian EV market.

If you want to get an EV on a budget you'll be much better off in tata's stable. Having an EV with 7kW OBC will future proof it too. I'd recommend the tiago EV over this any day.
If you absolutely can't have tata and you want a Citroen for its brand value or any specific reason, I suggest you get the turbo petrol version. EV ownership has its differences when compared to ICE. It's easy to get amazed by instant torque during test drives, but ownership experience will be filled with charging anxiety, range anxiety, service network availability and so on. So talk with seasoned EV owners thoroughly before you make a decision where your hard earned money goes to.
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Old 17th March 2023, 11:29   #2
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re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Quote:
Originally Posted by govind_kaniyath View Post

They even didn't bother to change the rear left quarter panel, it still has a cutout for petrol filler!!
This made me chuckle, it is only matter of time, that someone tries to use that side to charge, only to realize their mistake.

Quote:
I hope tata gives existing tigor/nexon users to have 7.2kW OBC via a fairly priced update at least.
This won't happen, as the whole electricals and electronics have to be changed, I heard this from Anand Kulkarni himself.


Quote:

It has an idiotic instrument cluster for a vehicle let alone for an EV. It looks like a digital watch display. It's a huge miss especially in the EV department.

The SOC (state of charge) indication that stays on all the time is in the form of a battery logo with 10 lines in it. This is pretty much useless as EV users "has" to see the percentage value at all times. Also, the press button mounted on the instrument cluster is used to cycle among Trip A, B, exact battery percentage, range left and odometer. Major problem is that only one among these can be displayed at a time. Also, there is no Average Fuel Efficiency being shown! How could Citroen do this. An EV without AFE being shown!? EV users make use of the AFE shown in order to understand if they are getting the desired range and if a change in their driving pattern is getting reflected in the range. No EV users trust DTE (distance to empty) blindly. This makes finding out whether we reach a specific location with a certain charge left in the battery next to impossible.
This is appalling, that display looked something you see on a scooter. Looks Citroen hasn't taken any learnings from other EV manf. Having a bar for SOC status is the most idiotic decision.

Quote:
Since there was a DC charging station nearby, I went there and did a small fast charging test. Surprisingly the car only drew 14.5kW. That's far lower than the advertised 21.5kW according to citroen (brochure claims 10 to 80% in 57mins, after doing the math, it comes to 21.5kW).
Oh man... I dread the day when I see these cars on highway, and them blocking the FC (50kw or higher) and charging at puny speeds.



Quote:

Citroen makes some really good cars, but unfortunately, I feel this isn't one of them. The fact that they launched an EV with half the power of ICE variant and no liquid cooling for the battery pack is equivalent to mocking the Indian EV market.
Right on spot, it is a joke that they are planning to release this to market, it should be given the right treatment, a big thumbs down.
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Old 17th March 2023, 12:31   #3
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re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthVeda View Post

This won't happen, as the whole electricals and electronics have to be changed, I heard this from Anand Kulkarni himself.
Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about-combo-box.jpg


This 3 in 1 combo box will change technically speaking. who knows there might be separate modules inside for PDU, DC-DC and OBC inside this big box. However, this box will be ip67 rated with water tight seals, if someone opens its up to change something, it is difficult to make it water tight again.

too much hassle for tata to get into this business. probably something after market might happen if curious people open it up. If someone has a spare, please send over, i can try
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Old 17th March 2023, 19:16   #4
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re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Quote:
Originally Posted by govind_kaniyath View Post
eC3's Warranty policy is something to look out for. According to it, warranty won't be applicable in the case of deep discharge, water entry, or battery pack in extreme conditions.
This is single sentence if read on time would save countless users' money. Seems this is the final nail on the coffin for this car's future. An EV with restrictive battery pack warranty! Phew!

Overall, a great first post. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 18th March 2023, 17:49   #5
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re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

After ahving a first look itself at that car, I made up my mind for Tiago EV.

Rest what you said I agree. Seriously what were they even thinking ?
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Old 18th March 2023, 19:50   #6
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re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Quote:
Originally Posted by govind_kaniyath View Post

The warranty policy no one talked about


One line in the warranty policy is very concerning to me. In many places in India, summer temperatures cross 40 degrees Celsius and a parking slot with a roof exposed to sunlight can probably touch 50 degrees ambient (heat radiated from the floor/roof of the parking area). It may not be that hot 24 hours a day, but it certainly would be for a good portion of the day. If Citroen are not comfortable providing warranty to a car parked in hot weather for 24 hours, would an eC3 even survive a full summer season?
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Old 19th March 2023, 00:01   #7
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re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

I will prefer to check out real-world owner reviews than theoretical postulations. And that too owner reviews after 6 months of ownership aa I feel that the time required for the learning curve from ICE to EV as far as day-to-day usage is concerned relating to charging, city driving or highway driving or battery nearing discharge behaviour regen etc. etc.


A reputed manufacturing company is making some claims, let's at least wait for those claims to go awry.

Last edited by Turbanator : 19th March 2023 at 06:39. Reason: Spell, grammar. Too many errors, Please proofread before posting.
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Old 20th March 2023, 16:14   #8
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Re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryzen7@5800u View Post
One line in the warranty policy is very concerning to me. In many places in India, summer temperatures cross 40 degrees Celsius and a parking slot with a roof exposed to sunlight can probably touch 50 degrees ambient (heat radiated from the floor/roof of the parking area). It may not be that hot 24 hours a day, but it certainly would be for a good portion of the day.
As you say, it will certainly not be that hot at night. This will happen only when the sun is high, at most 8 hours a day. It should not void the warranty.

But even with a water-cooled battery, the water cooling won't be active when the car is parked. So the entire undercarriage can certainly heat up to 50. It would be advisable to avoid parking these cars in the sun for long durations, as far as possible, warranty or not.
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Old 20th March 2023, 16:53   #9
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Re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
But even with a water-cooled battery, the water cooling won't be active when the car is parked. So the entire undercarriage can certainly heat up to 50. It would be advisable to avoid parking these cars in the sun for long durations, as far as possible, warranty or not.
Warranty is not my main concern, I'm more concerned about the long term effects of heat on the battery.
And, with the liquid cooling, surely the liquid will remain inside the coolant channels(?) around the battery and would absorb some heat via it's thermal mass?
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Old 20th March 2023, 20:39   #10
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Re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Excellent post!

It is interesting that with just 5 bars in the battery (~50%) the predicted range is 150km. Was this after your test drive?

Quote:

DC fast charging



Since there was a DC charging station nearby, I went there and did a small fast charging test. Surprisingly the car only drew 14.5kW. That's far lower than the advertised 21.5kW according to citroen (brochure claims 10 to 80% in 57mins, after doing the math, it comes to 21.5kW).
Few videos online-one by "talking cars" Youtube channel about eC3 spied shows the car taking 16kW at a Zeon charger and another video by "motorscribes" Youtube channel show the car taking just 13kW. I assume this much inconsistency and low charging speed has to do with not having liquid battery cooling, which brings to my final take on Citroen's commitment.

Attachment 2429794
Inconsistent and slower than specified charging speed is an issue, limits the 100% DC fast charging usecase.

Quote:

The warranty policy no one talked about



Attachment 2429768
For gradual capacity loss, how does Citroen define end-of-life for eC3? Is it fair to assume that the battery will be replaced if capacity goes below 70% within warranty period (7 years)?
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:10   #11
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Re: Citroen eC3 from a Nexon EV owner's perspective | The warranty policy no one talked about

Tata Tiago including the high range offers an on-board charging of 3.3kW AC. Only the top two trim offers 7.2kW wall charger as an option.
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