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#1: Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device Author: chevrolet Post Posted: Today at

Yesterday, the service guy at my local Peugeot dealership told me that the latest cars now have "smart" alternators. Per him, as a result, if you attach a device like a TomTom (or phone?) to the 12V power outlet, it will only "maintain" the existing battery charge level on the device. It wont charge it up further e.g. attach a TomTom with a flat or half charged battery, and its not going to charge it up further.

Is this true?

#2: Re: Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device Author: roscobbc Location: S W Essex Post Posted: Today at

Don't think so - a couple of my company cars had this 'facility' - one, specifically a BMW One series had this and regenerative charging and stop-start engine. I think that the car gains a percentage of its battery charge from the regenerative function and any additional requirement is sensed by an 'on demand' circuit. I've also had other items like tablets and phone on charge when driving with no ill effect. If the stem can deal with the demands of a stop-start system and associated battery charging, low wattage items like you mention shouldn't be an issue. However these systems are very dependant on a high quality battery - if the car is a couple of years old with 50 or 60K miles best consider a new battery Yes

#3: Re: Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device Author: roscobbc Location: S W Essex Post Posted: Today at

USB charge ports in latest cars may only be 1 or 2 amp output - barely enough to charge a smartphone as quick as you would like - try using an adaptor in lighter socket.

#4: Re: Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device Author: chevrolet Post Posted: Today at

Thanks for the info Thumbs up My enquiry was for a lady with a 1 year old ("smart" alternator) Citroen Picasso. The dealer is Peugeot and Citroen. She told me that it was not charging up her new/recent TomTom, when plugged into either of the 12v power outlets. Didn't have a cigarette lighter as, like a lot of new cars, you don't get one unless you ask for one (e.g. "smoker pack"). Presume though that 12v power outlet acts/has the same functionality as a cigarette lighter?

On my 8 year old Saab "daily driver" (without a "smart" alternator per the service guy?) and 8 year old TomTom, the TT to car connection is to the cigarette lighter (days when all cars had cigarette lighters?). In my TT handbook, says that to charge it, connect to car's charger/can take up to 2 hours to fully recharge. I've never needed to charge/recharge it other than connecting it to the car when wanting to use it.


Last edited by chevrolet on Wed 13 Jun 18 10:10; edited 1 time in total. [6 %]

#5: Re: Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device Author: roscobbc Location: S W Essex Post Posted: Today at

Some of the USB power outlets in cars are 0.5amps - barely enough to maintain a charge on a mobile phone, use the phone at the same time as charging and It'll never charge up.
In my day job we manufacture/supply electrical switches and sockets. The recently introduced and very popular 2 gang 13 amp socket with 2 USB chargers is a case in point. One USB outlet is usually 1 amp - specifically for phones (Android). The other outlet is typically 2 amps - for tablets. As mobile devices get more complicated, need bigger batteries and consume much more power the in-car devices (and sockets described above) will struggle to cope with charging the devices.
Coming soon to your town - the 'Power Delivery Port. This will be a 13 amp socket (like the one above) that has a type 'C' micro USB socket (just like the one phones used a few year ago) This will automatically select the voltage output your device uses to charge (5v up to 15v typically) and have a charge output of up to 15 watt.


Last edited by roscobbc on Wed 13 Jun 18 16:12; edited 1 time in total. [2 %]

#6: Re: Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device Author: chevrolet Post Posted: Today at

Had to get the old Saab MOT'd today, at my usual garage next to the Peugeot/Citroen dealer. Had they heard about "smart" alternator cars not charging devices? No, News to them.
CCCUK » Non-Corvette Motoring » Latest cars with "smart" alternators won't charge up a connected device


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