Jump to content
Create New...
  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    CES 2019: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

      The all-new 2020 CLA grows slightly


    At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz pulled the wraps off the 2020 CLA.  Growing in size slightly, about 2 inches in length and width, the CLA moves to the new A-Class platform shown last year in Bejing.  The wider body allows for a wider track to improve handling.  A larger stabilizer bar and optional active adaptive damping systems further work to improve handling and comfort.

    MBUX is the latest in automotive interface systems from Mercedes and comes standard on the CLA. The system is activated by saying "Hey Mercedes" and can respond to increasingly complex queries from the driver.

    While official specs weren't announced, we expect the CLA 250 will be equipped like the 2019 A-Class with a 4-cylinder engine producing 188hp and 221 lb-ft of torque paired with a 7G-DCT transmission.  4Matic all-wheel drive will be available. 

    The current CLA starts at $33,100 before destination charge, we expect a slight increase in price when the 2020 CLA goes on sale in late 2019.  

     


    The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is not only the most emotional vehicle in its class, it is also highly intelligent: from MBUX Interior Assistant, which recognizes operational demands from gestures and equips the interior with intelligence, through Augmented Reality for Navigation and understanding indirect voice commands, the new CLA offers an array of clever solutions. There are also ingenious details when it comes to the aerodynamics and new driver assistance systems. The design underlines the coupe character with its stretched form and design elements such as the hood with power domes or the rear license plate which has been moved down. As such it does justice to its predecessor's status as a design icon. The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will celebrate its World Premiere at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2019 and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2019.

    With MBUX, Mercedes-Benz has been revolutionizing how to operate a car and communicate with it since the premiere of the new A-Class. "Now we go to the next level with an intelligent interior assistance system for the compact class. By recognizing gestures it facilitates natural operation," says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "This is not the only new feature by which the CLA offers a great deal of automotive intelligence."

    "With the first CLA we created a totally new segment with a four-door coupe and celebrated a huge success by selling some 750,000 CLA and CLA Shooting Brakes," adds Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. "The new edition of the CLA has been developed further in an intelligent way and is even more emotional and sportier than its predecessor. Coupled with new operating systems, it sets new benchmarks for the entire class."

    The new generation of compacts has made a key contribution to the rejuvenation and image change of the Mercedes-Benz brand. The CLA is important for winning and retaining new customers in particular. The CLA Coupe was launched in the U.S. in 2013, making it the first compact Mercedes-Benz available in the U.S. market. At peak times, more than two thirds of CLA buyers in the U.S. came from competitors. On average, CLA customers in the USA are around ten years younger than the typical Mercedes-Benz customer. In Europe, too, CLA customers are among the youngest in the Mercedes portfolio. In 2017, one in two customers in Europe previously drove a competitor's vehicle. Over 75 percent of European customers who previously drove a CLA as a coupe or Shooting Brake chose a Mercedes-Benz again for their next vehicle. In total, some 750,000 units of the first-generation CLA Coupe and CLA Shooting Brake contributed considerably to the compact car's success.

    Design: pure emotion

    "As a four-door coupe, the new CLA intrigues with its puristic, seductive design and sets new standards in the design DNA of 'sensual purity.' It impresses with its perfect proportions reflecting the first design sketch: a long, stretched hood, a compact greenhouse, a wide track with exposed wheel arches and our typical GT rear end with a strong distinctive 'Coke-bottle shoulder,'" says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. "In short - the CLA Coupe has the potential to become a modern design icon."

    The combination of the long, stretched entry line above the windows and frameless doors give the CLA Coupe its unmistakable sporty and elegant character. Forming the front end is the striking front section which is raked forward like a shark nose with a long, stretched hood featuring power domes.

    Flat headlamps together with the low slung hood and the diamond-block grille with a central star create the vehicle's sporty face. The two-piece, narrow taillamps and the number plate housed in the bumper make the rear of the CLA look especially wide.

    With the greenhouse moved back, the sporty GT rear achieves a balance between elegance and sportiness. Featuring pared-down lines, the precisely modelled side profile provides an interesting interplay of light and shade. Dispensing with the upper shaped edge of the side wall permits extremely muscular and athletic shoulder shaping, stretching from the front wheel arch through to the sculptured rear. Flush with the outer edge of the body, the wheels with their flared wheel arches and wide track give the vehicle a sporty presence.

    In the interior, all elements are arranged according to the overarching design themes of 'high tech' and 'youthful avant-garde' – be that the steering wheel, the door handle operating module, the center console or the seats. As in the A-Class, the unique interior architecture is shaped in particular by the modern design of the dashboard; the designers completely dispensed with a cowl above the cockpit. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. The widescreen display is completely free-standing. The lower section is visually separated from the main body of the instrument cluster by a "trench," and it appears to float in front of the instrument cluster. The ambient lighting enhances this effect. The air vents in a sporty turbine-look are another highlight.

    The concept for its dimensions: longer, wider and more grown-up

     

    CLA

    Predecessor

    Diff.

    Exterior dimensions

    Length

    184.6 in (4,688 mm)

    182.7 in (4,640 mm)

    +1.9 in (48 mm)

    Width

    72.0 in (1,830 mm)

    70.0 (1,777 mm)

    +2.0 in (53 mm)

    Width incl. exterior mirrors

    78.7 in (1,999 mm)

    80.0 (2,032 mm)

    -1.3 in (33 mm)

    Height

    56.7 in (1,439 mm)

    56.7 (1,441 mm)

    (-2 mm)

    Wheelbase

    107.4 in (2,729 mm)

    106.3 (2,699 mm)

    +1.1 in (30 mm)

    Front track

    63.5 in (1,612 mm)

    61.0 (1,549 mm)

    +2.5 in (63 mm)

    Rear track

    63.1 in (1,602 mm)

    60.9 (1,547 mm)

    +2.2 in (55 mm)

    Interior dimensions

    Max. headroom, front

    40.3 in (1,023 mm)

    39.6 in (1,006 mm)

    +0.7 in (17 mm)

    Headroom, rear

    35.7 in (908 mm)

    35.6 in (905 mm)

    +0.1 in (3 mm)

    Legroom, front

    41.8 in (1,062 mm)

    41.9 in (1,063 mm)

    (-1 mm)

    Legroom, rear

    33.9 in (861 mm)

    33.9 in (860 mm)

    (+1 mm)

    Elbow room, front

    57.4 in (1,457 mm)

    56.0 in (1,422 mm)

    +1.4 in (35 mm)

    Elbow room, rear

    57.2 in (1,454 mm)

    55.5 in (1,410 mm)

    +1.7 in (44 mm)

    Shoulder room, front

    55.1 in (1,400 mm)

    54.8 in (1,391 mm)

    +0.3 in (9 mm)

    Shoulder room, rear

    54.0 in (1,372 mm)

    53.1 in (1,350 mm)

    +0.9 in (22 mm)

    Load compartment width max.

    56.9 in (1,444 mm)

    52.4 in (1,331 mm)

    +4.5 in (113 mm)

    Load compartment
    depth max.

    41.5 in (1,054 mm)

    40.6 in (1,030 mm)

    +0.9 in (24 mm)

    Width of load
    compartment opening

    35.1 in (891 mm)

    24.8 in (629 mm)

    +10.3 in (262 mm)

    Trunk capacity

    460 liters

    470 liters

    -10 liters

    Suspension: exceptionally agile and yet comfortable

    In terms of driving dynamics, the new CLA keeps the promise of its design: a wide track (an extra 63 mm at the front and 55 mm more at the rear compared to its predecessor) and a lower center of gravity are the two key features which give the CLA the sportiest driving characteristics of all models in the new generation of compacts from Mercedes-Benz. The technical specification includes a decoupled multi-link axle at the rear for reduced noise and vibration, a Direct-Steer system as standard and hydromounts at the front. A stabilizer bar with a larger diameter reduces body roll. As an option, an active adaptive damping system is available, giving the driver the choice between comfort, or a more uncompromising sporty tuning. The range of wheels starts at 18 inches and goes up to 19 inches. The ESP® has been specially adapted to the CLA's potentially high cornering speeds and handling performance.

    One year since the premiere: MBUX keeps on learning

    One year ago, MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – created a furor at its world premiere at CES in Las Vegas with a powerful computer, brilliant screens and graphics, customizable display, full color Head-up Display, Augmented Video for Navigation, software that can learn, and "Hey Mercedes" – the keyword for Voice Control that surpasses conventional automotive standards. This is how Mercedes-Benz is revolutionizing car operation and communication. Now the company is igniting the next level. MBUX Interior Assistant facilitates natural operation. The Voice Control feature now recognizes topical answers in a growing number of domains. Due to ongoing development of the system, it is also possible to take into consideration country-specific content providers.

    "The latest version of Voice Control for MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – can be experienced in the new CLA. For example, the voice assistant, activated by the keyword 'Hey Mercedes,' is able to recognize and answer considerably more complex queries," says Sajjad Khan, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars for CASE and Head of Digital Vehicle & Mobility. "What's more, the voice assistance no longer gets confused by other passengers conversing. Instead it only responds to the commands of the person who last said 'Hey Mercedes' to activate the system."

    MBUX Interior Assistant: an even greater experience

    By recognizing movements, MBUX Interior Assistant brings added intelligence to the interior. Thanks to innovative technology, MBUX now supports the occupants by making various comfort and MBUX functions even simpler and more intuitive. MBUX Interior Assistant operates in non-contact mode and functions both in sunlight and in complete darkness.

    It enables the adaptation of screen content as soon as a hand approaches the touchscreen in the dashboard or the Touchpad on the center console. Individual elements are highlighted according to the currently active menu. In addition, the system is able to distinguish between the driver's and front passenger's hands and thus knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated.

    A special feature of MBUX Interior Assistant is the personal favorites function, which can be initiated with a horizontally outstretched index and middle finger. In this way, any command which is controllable via MBUX can be stored for simple access. One typical favorite command is "take me home." As the system is able to reliably recognize who is operating it, the driver and front passenger respectively can even assign different favorites to the same hand position.

    There are other functions which can be controlled intuitively, without any need to practice corresponding gestures: In the dark, the reading lamp can be switched on and off by briefly extending a hand towards the rear-view mirror. If the driver reaches over towards the unoccupied front passenger seat in the dark, it will be illuminated automatically. This makes it easier to find any items which may have been set on the seat. As soon as the person's hand leaves this area, the light automatically switches off again.

    "Hey Mercedes": better understanding and more clever responses

    State-of-the-art Voice Control can also be experienced in the CLA as a part of the MBUX system. Here too seat recognition has been implemented. The voice assistance only responds to the commands of the person who last said "Hey Mercedes" to activate the system. When paired with Mercedes me connect, the voice assistant can recognize and respond to considerably more complex queries, for example: "Find child-friendly Asian restaurants nearby with a 4- star rating which are neither Chinese nor Japanese?" There is also a growing number of domains for which MBUX can understand complex questions and quickly reply: these include sports ("Hey Mercedes, how did the San Francisco 49ers play?"), the stock exchange ("Compare the share price of Apple Incorporated to Microsoft"), calculations ("What is the square root of 3?") or general knowledge ("How big is Texas?" or "What is the fat content of an avocado?").

    Aerodynamics: intelligent solutions intelligently designed

    On the way to series production, the aerodynamics of the new CLA underwent a considerably longer phase of optimization than its predecessor in the form of simulations, before the first measurements of models were carried out in the wind tunnel. This was possible due to greater computing capacity, as well as more experience of working with simulation tools and their best possible use in the development process.

    A key advantage of the simulation process is that it is easy to determine the exact proportions of the form, and to examine the effects of a change in form on flow at another point which is either before or after in the direction of flow, without it being necessary to make changes to the physical model.

    Work on optimization was in close collaboration with the designers and was particularly intensive on the rear bumper, radiator grille, the fog lamp recesses (the relief-like diamond-shaped pattern of which was reduced to the edge on the CLA for aerodynamic reasons) and the height of the diffuser. Totally new are the wheel-arch spoilers with their fins in the longitudinal direction; they help air to flow around the wheels with minimal losses. Integrated as standard at the front of the vehicle is a two-piece shutter system behind the radiator grille, which regulates air flow through the engine compartment. The almost complete underbody paneling encompasses the engine compartment, the main floor, parts of the rear axle and the diffuser.

    Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class

    The CLA has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, and thus provides the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S-Class. For the first time, the CLA is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation. Improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 1,640 feet (500 meters) ahead. The CLA also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC®, as part of the optional Driver Assistance Package, is able to provide route-based support to the driver in numerous situations, and to predictively and conveniently adjust the speed, for example when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Also on board are Active Emergency Stop Assist and the intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist.

    The new CLA comes with enhanced Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, it can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or to prevent them altogether.

    Active Lane Keeping Assist is able to warn the driver by means of pulsed vibrations in the steering wheel when the vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane at speeds between approximately 35 and 125 mph. If the vehicle passes over a solid line, it can pull the vehicle back into lane by applying the brakes on one side. In the case of a dotted line, such intervention takes place only when there is a danger of collision with a vehicle in the adjacent lane (including danger from oncoming traffic).

    PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision from a vehicle from behind. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes of the stationary vehicle, thus lowering the risk of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.

    LED Headlamps: better visibility in all conditions

    Another example of automotive intelligence and the transfer of technology from the luxury segment to the compact class are the standard LED Headlamps and optionally available Active LED Headlamps. They allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation. Each headlamp on the CLA incorporates 18 individually controllable LEDs. The daylight-like light color of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and has a positive effect on concentration. The road ahead is precisely and brightly illuminated. The tail lamps are also available with all- LED technology.

    Drive system: start with the most powerful engine

    At the trade show presentation in Las Vegas, the CLA on display is the CLA 250 with the powerful four-cylinder gasoline engine, paired with a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission, available with front-wheel drive or 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

    The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will celebrate its World Premiere at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2019 and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2019.

     

    Edited by Drew Dowdell

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    It looks a lot better than the current car, but it also looks pretty much the same as the A-class sedan, I don't see the reason to build both of these when one would suffice.  I'd rather this be the "sedan" and them offer the A-class hatchback as the other body style.  I like the looks of this, the rear end that looks like a C or E coupe is an improvement over the A220.

    I am not a fan of all these Edition One trims with neon orange or yellow striping that every Mercedes seems to get.  It seems like a cheap marketing ploy that they should be above doing.

    CLA250 should have 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.  

    Edited by smk4565
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If everyone else dumps their sedans, more sales for Mercedes.  

    I did read the CLA250 has 221 hp, up 13 from the current model.  I think the AMG 35's will be the sweet spot of this range with 300 hp.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    If everyone else dumps their sedans, more sales for Mercedes.  

    I did read the CLA250 has 221 hp, up 13 from the current model.  I think the AMG 35's will be the sweet spot of this range with 300 hp.  

    STOP!!! Come on man... if Cadillac made the Cruze into a CT1 I'd be done with them I think.. and roast the feces outta of them. U cannot tell me that U are OK with this.. if U are.. U are truly the greatest shill since Wingnuts

    • Agree 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    24 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    STOP!!! Come on man... if Cadillac made the Cruze into a CT1 I'd be done with them I think.. and roast the feces outta of them. U cannot tell me that U are OK with this.. if U are.. U are truly the greatest shill since Wingnuts

    GM would get it right if they made the Cruze into a CT1. Would possibly in an ideal world work well with Millennial buyers in Urban markets. Given GM performance...a V version of this would be awesome.

    I will defend SMK. Unlike Wingnuts he gives me rational reasons often for why he likes a vehicle. I don't always agree with him, but I often respect his view point.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The new Astra/Verano we didn't get should have been sold here. I could see putting an amazing interior and the 2.0T in there to make a Cadillac. It's not ideal, but it's the same idea as what Benz and Audi are doing.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 hour ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    STOP!!! Come on man... if Cadillac made the Cruze into a CT1 I'd be done with them I think.. and roast the feces outta of them. U cannot tell me that U are OK with this.. if U are.. U are truly the greatest shill since Wingnuts

    What is wrong with it?  Cadillac makes front drive XT4, XT5, XTS, soon to have XT6.  And those are mid range cars, not entry level.

    I prefer rear drive but for a small car with this level of power the drive train doesn’t matter so much.  I have driven the current CLA with the 4matic it doesn’t feel so FWD in the power delivery.  Although that said it is no where near as good as a C-class or E-class in ride/handling/acceleration.  I wouldn’t buy a CLA but FWD layouts with 4 cylinder engines is probably 75% of vehicle sales now.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    FWD layouts with 4 cylinder engines is probably 75% of vehicle sales now.

    The 2 million trucks sold last year would like to have a word with you. 

    • Agree 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    35 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The new Astra/Verano we didn't get should have been sold here. I could see putting an amazing interior and the 2.0T in there to make a Cadillac. It's not ideal, but it's the same idea as what Benz and Audi are doing.

    If Cadillac pluses up the interior then yes.  Problem is if Cadillac made a version of a Cruze it would have a Cruze interior with some wood trim or something half assed.  Cadillac probably only needs 2 sedans with their volume though, there isn’t really a reason for them to even build a 3rd one that is front drive.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

    The 2 million trucks sold last year would like to have a word with you. 

    17 million vehicles sold in the USA last year, how many Camry, Accord, Civic, RAV4 , Escape, Equinox, Malibu,almost  every Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda etc. were there?  I don’t know what the breakdown is but by far and a way transverse mounted 4 cylinder is the most common thing.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    31 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    17 million vehicles sold in the USA last year, how many Camry, Accord, Civic, RAV4 , Escape, Equinox, Malibu,almost  every Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda etc. were there?  I don’t know what the breakdown is but by far and a way transverse mounted 4 cylinder is the most common thing.

    It's the most common but 75% is a big stretch. 

    All truck sales alone are just under 3,000,000 units(2,949,395 to be exact). Add in MB, BMW, and all other luxury brands and that alone will be well under 75% FWD 4 cylinder vehicles. 

    I'm just saying your estimate of 75% is way too high. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    4 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    It's the most common but 75% is a big stretch. 

    All truck sales alone are just under 3,000,000 units(2,949,395 to be exact). Add in MB, BMW, and all other luxury brands and that alone will be well under 75% FWD 4 cylinder vehicles. 

    I'm just saying your estimate of 75% is way too high. 

    Okay maybe that is high but it has to be at least 50% 4-cylinder in a front drive layout.  Even stuff like Atlas, Explorer and Traverse have 4 cylinder engines, they are everywhere.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    6 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    What is wrong with it?  Cadillac makes front drive XT4, XT5, XTS, soon to have XT6.  And those are mid range cars, not entry level.

    I prefer rear drive but for a small car with this level of power the drive train doesn’t matter so much.  I have driven the current CLA with the 4matic it doesn’t feel so FWD in the power delivery.  Although that said it is no where near as good as a C-class or E-class in ride/handling/acceleration.  I wouldn’t buy a CLA but FWD layouts with 4 cylinder engines is probably 75% of vehicle sales now.

    #1 its ugly as FuKK. #2 There is zero that says that thing is luxury inside or out.. In fact it really does look like an uglier version of the Cruze. Hell.. it might have the Hyundai Elantra beat for ugly.. No.. To me it looks like Mercedes was trying to muscle in on the Corolla's buyers

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • google-news-icon.png



  • google-news-icon.png

  • Subscribe to Cheers & Gears

    Cheers and Gears Logo

    Since 2001 we've brought you real content and honest opinions, not AI-generated stuff with no feeling or opinions influenced by the manufacturers.

    Please consider subscribing. Subscriptions can be as little as $1.75 a month, and a paid subscription drops most ads.*
     

    You can view subscription options here.

    *a very limited number of ads contain special coupon deals for our members and will show

  • Community Hive Community Hive

    Community Hive allows you to follow your favorite communities all in one place.

    Follow on Community Hive
  • Posts

    • Some interesting reading. Here's Why People Are Willing to Pay More for an EV - CNET The Real Costs of Electric Car Ownership - CNET Why I Don't Own an Electric Car Yet - CNET EV Charging vs. Gas: We Do the Math to See Which is Cheaper - CNET I will say that the last writing where people say installing a home charger negates any savings on charging versus gas buying. That might be true if they have been driving a Prius but for me that had an SS my wife drove spending $600 a month on premium fuel or $7,200 a year on gas, even if I had paid the cost of an Electrician installing a home charger rather than doing it myself as I wrote about here:   I am still coming out ahead on home charging with an EV that is roomy, comfortable and way better in many ways than my SS was.
    • Yes, that is correct, the miles between charging that has been driven by my wife. Correct, on your 265 miles statement. We are charging almost 100% at home as unless I go on a road trip, there is no need for local fast charging at this time since we can just come home plug it in and the next morning before my wife leaves, she has a full battery pack. So other than the Electrify America Charging in Yakima that we did when we went for cherries two weeks ago, all charging is at home.
    • Great writeup, David! It's much appreciated. On your screenshot of "Charging Activity" Is that the miles driven between those dates?  So, you drove 265 miles from the 5th to 10th and it cost you $9.22? Am I reading that correctly? And at 0.10/kw that's about 92.2kw used from the two dates?  What percentage do you charge to at home? Are you charging to 100%? 90%? 80%?
    • The grand plan was a separate new service to the house of 200 amps so that the garage would have plenty of power for charging multiple EVs and I would have a separate bill each cycle for knowing what I was spending for EV driving. Waking up in the morning to a full charge of power and never having to stop at a gas station due to having a Level 2, 240-volt home charger is a luxury everyone should have allowing you to smile as you drive by a gas station with folks outside dealing with their fueling. The ultimate perk of EV ownership.  I started with reaching out to my local utility and inquiring of the process for a new service. My local utility was more than accommodating in helping me out with the details. As an engineer that loves to learn, this process was very eye opening into the costs, lack of efficiencies by agencies and electrical contractors with a surprising ending to my eventual solution. Let's start off by making one thing clear, every state has their own regulations in regard to electrical. While the USA follows the national electrical code as a starting point, each state, county and city then adds their own additions or subtractions to the code. Always make sure to follow your local code no matter if you hire a company, independent contractor or are a DIY (Do it Yourself) type of person. Full information on the national electrical code can be found here:  The National Electrical Code (NEC) - Electrical Safety Foundation (esfi.org) Another thing to point out is every state has their own way of dealing with electrical supply and competition. As such, some states allow their end users to pick among competitive electrical suppliers even to the point of choosing to use Green Energy (Solar, Wind, and or Hydro) or not (Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear). Other states tend to regulate this down to the city and or county within a state. Washington state is a regulated power supply state so that depending on the county you live in; you deal with your county or the state power supplier. Washington state has one of the greenest electrical grides in the country. It produces 7,816 MWh of electricity and it breaks down as follows: Figures as of May 16th, 2024 Petroleum-Fired - 0% Natural Gas - 21.3% Coal-Fired - 3.9% Nuclear 10.3% Renewables - 64.1% (Hydro, Wind, Solar & Ocean) Fueling Stations in Washington State: Motor Gasoline - 1,846 Stations Propane - 64 Stations EV Charging - 2,153 stations E85 - 5 stations Biodiesel, CNG, & Other Alternatives - 8 stations If you wish to check out your own state information you can do so here by clicking on your state:  U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis Starting off on my project I had decided to go ahead with a ChargePoint+ Home Flex Hardwired solution. Yes, there are a wide variety of good home chargers that run from $250 to $2000 dollars such as the Porsche home charger. Home Flex Hardwired Level 2 EV Charger (chargepoint.com) The choice of this charger was based on the following: Some of the best reviews out there by thousands of people Hardwired allowed me the best power supply available to the EV building in future protection as newer EV tech comes online. ChargePoint sells both CCS and NACS supply cords, making upgrades from my current EV with CCS to a future EV with NACS easy as a self-Upgrade to the charger. ChargePoint app allows for use both at their fast-charging network and to track my own use and cost. You can find a large diverse choice of L1 and L2 chargers on Amazon or from other sources. Many utilities will have rebates if you purchase through your local utility or in the case of my own system, I had to file a rebate form as my charger was on the approved list, but not available from my utility. ChargePoint+ also points out that till 2032 you might be able to qualify for a $1,000 rebate from the federal government. Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Incentives | ChargePoint Now that I have covered some of the basics about electrical and power source, lets dive into my journey for a Level 2 Home Charger. Karl at the Snohomish PUD sent me a form that I had to fill out, this was a "New Service Residential Request" form. Here I had to fill out the normal details such as my house address, current status of the electrical to the home, type of new service being requested, pictures of where the service would need to be connected to the house and where I wanted the service panel to be, etc. This form had an area for requested measurements from the house to the utility pole, gross measurements of where the wiring would need to go so that the service could be sized up accordingly. The last part was the direction from my PUD on checking with the city for any additional requirements. For those wanting to see what the new service request form looks like I supply it here: 1097R_NSQres.pdf City requirements were that any electrical changes to the existing structure that comprised more than 10% cost of the home improvement value as assessed by the county required that the electrical lines from the utility pole to the house be installed underground rather than overhead. Luckily for me, my estimated costs would be under this so I was not looking to have to figure this into the cost of adding the service or so I thought. Karl at SNOPUD said he would do the assessment and have out to me the updated info shortly. In the meantime, I reached out to a couple of recommended electrical companies from the SNOPUD website and a few independent electricians to get estimates on the work to be done. Specifically, I wanted two quotes, first is the all-new service added to the house with dedicated panel feeding the garage. Second was updating the existing panel to support a charger in the garage using my existing service. Here I was expecting a $5 to $6 thousand dollar install connection for the first service and based on the auto industry estimate of around $1,500 to $2,000 for the second. Boy was I off by a bunch. All the estimates from both the electrical companies I contacted, and the independent contractors had the new service install between $10 to $12 thousand dollars and the existing services was between $4,700 to $6,200. This also did not include the connection to the PUD. Here I was informed from Karl at SNOPUD that the service could be done but would require a new transformer to our cul-d-sac to support the added amperage pull. As such, this was more than just a wire connection but an outage to the cul-d-sac ending in an almost $15,000 charge. Who knew that adding a service where you pay them for the flow of electricity would have such a huge cost and impact on my project. This put the cost of a new service between $25,000 to $27,000 dollars. So much for the Auto Industry estimates of $1,500 to $2,000 dollars and it also did not include the required $125.00 electrical permit I would have to get from the city and inspection. I did keep in mind that the price of electrical work varies based on the cost of labor where one lives, power of the charger, distance from the charger to the electrical panel along with the job complexity. What about DIY (Do it Yourself), could I do this job myself and what would the cost be? First, I knew from all the quotes that I was greatly under my 200-amp service pull as I have Gas stove, Dryer, Water heater and Furnace. As such, the 240V 30-to-50-amp circuits that are in my panel are not being used at all. One of the independent electricians had stated that the cheapest way would be to pull an existing circuit breaker and run the wire into the panel with the new Circuit breaker, but most electricians did not like leaving existing wires from outlets in the panel even if they were sealed off, they just did not like doing this, so everyone had quoted based on adding a secondary panel. With this information, I researched from the ChargePoint+ website on installing the hardwired charger I had purchased from them. ChargePoint+ has installation videos and covers all the information on installation as well as becoming a certified installation expert. ChargePoint Home Resources | ChargePoint ChargePoint Home Flex (CPH50) Hardwired Installation Video | ChargePoint Become a Certified ChargePoint Installer | ChargePoint From the website above I gathered the following information on the materials that I would need. Conduit large enough to hold the wiring Brackets to attach the conduit and screws 90-degree wire access conduit Associated pipe nipple for connection into the panel Insulated bushing Appropriate washer and locknut for connection to the panel 6 AWG wiring Black, Red and Green wires per code ChargePoint+ clearly states to use 6AWG for their Level 2 Charger installation. 6 AWG wire stripper 70amp circuit breaker Some states require these to be Arc or GFCI for indoor or outdoor, national code for outdoor installation is a GFCI breaker upstream from the outdoor installation. Check local regulations for proper type required. Make sure to get the proper type of circuit breaker for your panel, I had D block circuits. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters vs. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters - Bob Vila Torque Screwdriver set Most do not know that depending on the size of the circuit breaker, when you connect the wiring to the breaker, the screws must be torqued to a certain range. The 70amp circuits per the side of the breaker states 45 in. lbs. Paintable caulking to seal both access points into the house for the charger. With having my list of materials, I choose to first compare prices online from Home Depot and Lowe's. What I found was that Home Depot was much higher in the cost of the wiring, but cheaper in conduit, circuit breakers and accessories. Lucky, I have both home improvement stores within a 2-mile radius of my house. What I also noticed was that neither home improvement store had the required tools I would need, so clearly, I would have to stop off at my local Harbor Freight tool store. Harbor Freight Tools | Quality Tools, Lowest Prices With the knowledge of what I needed and a shopping list, I headed out and accomplished the following: Electrical Permit from my city.  Wiring from Lowe's - Lowe’s Home Improvement (lowes.com) Conduit, circuit breaker and accessories from Home Depot - The Home Depot Tools from Harbor Freight tools company - Harbor Freight Tools | Quality Tools, Lowest Prices Opening up the electrical panel as you can see here, I have my household 200amp circuit at the top. This will kill power to everything in the house, below this was the kitchen and laundry room 240V circuit and then on down throughout the rest of the house to the garage with various circuits. At this point, I knew that I would be turning off the 200amp circuit to work on this panel and protect the rest of the house. Note to point out is that when you turn off this 200amp circuit, the power is not flowing to the rest of the panel, but you still have the power coming from the street to this panel and so there is live electricity in that 200amp circuit. One must always be cautious when working with electrical. One safety thing to do, remove ALL jewelry, watches, phones, etc. Have nothing on you that is electrical or any kind of metal and that includes a wedding ring. All these are places that can cause an electrical jump / short that can cause you harm. As one that grew up working on auto's and having great respect for the electrical system of auto's, homes, datacenters, etc. there are some things that I do not have a problem doing. In this case I kept the power to the house on while I pulled the panel cover off. A proper panel should have all the wires in 90 degrees to the circuit breakers and to the grounding / neutral bars that are silver in this case. Here I have not had any manipulation of the box done with patchwork electrical hacks. It is always best to learn the details or hire the proper person to do your electrical work. Being that I am comfortable with pulling out the circuit breaker that is turned off, I choose to pull and replace the 240V 30-amp laundry room circuit. Here in this picture, you can see it removed and a better view of the grounding / neutral bar of the electrical panel. At this point, I wanted to pull out the punch of where I was going to run the new electrical lines into the panel. Once I pulled out the punch, I drilled a small starter hole from the inside to the outside so I could line up properly the larger drill bit for the incoming conduit. Upon drilling, I attached the pipe nipple extension to the 90-degree wire access conduit, and I inserted it through the outside wall. Here I put on the washer, lock nut and insulated bushing as you can see here. Now the next step was to install the conduit, some love their hard conduit and gluing it together as it comes in 10ft lengths, and you then have to either use a special heater tool to bend the hard conduit or buy the proper pieces that are curved. I choose to go with liquid proof flexible commercial conduit. The benefit here is that while this is a bit more expensive, the flexibility of the line makes it so much easier to install. One thing no matter what type of conduit you choose to use is that one has to run the electrical lines through the conduit. Hard conduit can be with tight bends very challenging to run the electrical lines unless you have a special tool that allows you to snake through the conduit, attach the electrical lines and then it uses an electrical motor to pull it. I choose to run my flexible conduit out in a straight line, and I had pushed through my three 6awg lines through it so that I had the wire already in the conduit. Now this does make the conduit much heavier to install, but I found it faster and easier to do it this way. You will also notice that I have a Black, White and Green wire rather than the code dictating a Black, Red and Green wire. Both Lowe's and Home Depot were out at the time of purchase the red 6awg wire. So, I did what is allowed and that is on the ends of the wire at both ends, I wrapped them with red electrical tape. I started with connecting the liquid tight end connector to the flexible conduit and attaching it to the 90 degree wire access to the panel. I pushed the wires through to the inside and reattached the liquid tight cover and then started using the brackets to attach the conduit to the house. Two things to consider, one is the over all look of the installation, sometimes the cheapest approach is not the best especially when it comes to ones significant other, wife, partner, etc., not everyone likes to see conduit. I choose to do my best to minimize the visibility of the conduit and once I paint it to match the house it will truly not show up as the wife never noticed it when she came home till after I showed here. Upon installation of the conduit with the 6 AWG wires, it was time to mount the home charger in my designated place. Here you need to make sure it is level, supported by the wall which can sometimes require additional bracing. Here you see my ChargePoint+ unit being installed on the wall. With the charger installed onto the wall, I finished up the connection of the conduit / wires into the unit. Connected the electrical supply side and the charging cable side and reinstalled the cover. With the installation of the charger unit and wiring done, it was time to focus on the circuit breaker installation side. Here I had an LED head light as I finally turned off the 200-amp circuit breaker to the house. I attached the red and black wires to the circuit breaker, installed the ground wire and then installed the circuit breaker into the panel. I also at this time wrapped each wire from the laundry outlet in proper electrical tap and a wire twist to add additional protection and secured them out of the way in the panel corner. I also at this time used my torque screwdriver to ensure proper torque on the wires. With the installation completed at the panel side, I turned back on the 200-amp circuit enabling the house to have power and was time to go enable the charger unit. Here ChargePoint+ has an outstanding cellphone app to enable you to finish up the setup of the charger. I was able to connect to the unit via WiFi and set the unit to 70 amp circuit hardwired. I also then connected it to my house WiFi for internet access. This allowed me to do a update on the unit for software. Here ChargePoint has on the left side of the unit indicators for WiFi connection. Green is good and as you can see in the picture above, I have WiFi connection and the alert is showing green so no issues with the charger. Upon using the regular ChargePoint software app on my smartphone I was able to complete setting up an account and final configuration of my charger as a home charger unit. The unit is green when not in use but ready to be used. During Charging the unit is a pulsing blue. At this point, I had a functional Level 2 240V 50amp hardwired home EV charger with CCS connector. What did this cost me, simple a total of $1,032.23 Level 2 ChargePoint+ Home Flex hardwired charger: $549.99 plus $54.99 sales tax before $200.00 rebate. Total Cost of Materials: $391.77 which was from Home Depot & Lowe's. Tools bought for the job: $110.48 which comprised of a 6 AWG wire striper and a Torque Screwdriver set from Harbor Freight. Electrical Permit: $125 from the city. Best part of this is the cheap charging we get at home at .10 cents per kW. The ChargePoint app allows me to track and monitor in real time our costs and amount used, so it will make it easy to subtract it from the electrical bill to see the house use versus the EV. The app shows that I am constantly at the 11kW controller capabilities of home charging from Kia. This brings me back to why I titled this the Good, Bad and the Ugly. New Service request is the ugly as the costs of the new service from my power supplier has costs that have never been talked about before to me and I still have to pay for the electrical use which makes this the ugly when you are looking at a five figure cost. The bad is clearly adding the new service panel and the associated costs to an electrical company to do the work, pretty much double what the auto industry has stated having a Level 2 home charger installed would actually cost. Good is for those of you who are willing to learn and do the work, a DIY install is in my humble opinion a very cheap way to go even though it did take a chunk of my time, I have no regrets about learning the process to install and dealing with my city on installation. End result is a quality home charger that will serve me well for many years. Please post any questions or comments, happy to respond on this personal journey into home charging of my EV. View full article
    • Tongue and Groove is best! For the Computer Nerds here:
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • My Clubs

×
×
  • Create New...

Hey there, we noticed you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.

Drew
Editor-in-Chief

Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search