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  • G. David Felt
    G. David Felt

    VISION EQXX Concept Demonstrates World-Beating Efficiency in Real-World Driving, 1,000 km or 621 miles

      Mercedes-Benz, late to the EV game, but wanting to show its engineering prowess, has completed the first demonstration of their VISION EQXX traveling from Stuttgart Germany to Cassis in the south of France.

    Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept traveled from Stuttgart Germany, across the Swiss Alps and Northern Italy, to its destination of Cassis on the Cote d'Azur in the south of France. This 1,008 km (626.3 Miles) @ 8.7 kWh per 100km (62.14 miles) of energy consumption.

    The road trip started off by certification and sealing of the charge port and a team monitoring the auto the whole time.

    This approach is what Mercedes-Benz calls Holistically Thinking, from the efficiency of the drive train to aerodynamics and down to the tiniest of detail, as a well working, great interfunctional collaboration and with external partners. This Holistical Thinking will be the new Blueprint for Mercedes automotive engineering as the benchmark for all Mercedes-Benz electrical vehicle efficiency and range for upcoming BEVs that go into production.

    Mercedes says that road trips are a cultural touchstone and has been for decades being defined as the road trips the give us freedom, individuality, the very spirit of the automobile and the passing world, allowing one to stick a pin in the map saying I have visited these places.

    Road trips drive the human spirit in our search for the great outdoors to the close intercity of driving.

    The Journey to electric mobility is a road trip that will be exhilarating and challenging for humans the world over, yet for Mercedes-Benz the journey is clear with a clear goal of maximum efficiency through innovation. This will start with their battery efficiency.

    The next step is a passive cooling of the drive train to reduce weight of the overall auto.

    From the passive you then move to the on-demand active drivetrain cooling.

    Heat Pumps are the future of BEVs, as Tesla has moved from AC units to new mini-Heat pump units, so has the legacy auto OEMs are moving to Heat pumps. This allows an actual superior heating and cooling affect by also controlling humidity which when unchecked causes what some people say is bone chilling cold on a winters day. Heat Pumps have been the optimal way to heat and cool a home and now we are starting to see them show up in the Auto.

    The challenging route profile and varying weather conditions has showed how the VISION EQXX research prototype was able to handle the wide variety of challenging conditions via the onboard software. EQXX packed with innovations allowed the VISION EQXX to break through technological barriers across the board. This trip showed what was feasible for a one-day road trip that covered 4 countries.

    This road trip had to deal with high speed motorways, mountain passes, various weather conditions and roadwork that offered various challenging driving situations.

    This road trip started in cold conditions at Stuttgart R&D Center at 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 F) and ended at 18 Degrees Celsius (64.4 F) in Cassis near Marseille in the South of France.

    A very common question is with electrical vehicles, how do I know what my range or as they say with an ICE MPG is?

    To compare efficiencies of MPG to MPGe, Kilowatt-hours per 100 kilometers are a measure of electric vehicle energy efficiency equal to the Kilowatt-hours of energy needed for a vehicle to travel 100 kilometers.

    The Kilowatt-hour per 100 kilometers is an SI unit of electric car efficiency in the metric system. Kilowatt-hour per 100 kilometers can be abbreviated as kWh/100km; for example 1 kilowatt-hour per 100 kilometers can be written as 1 kWh/100km.

    The following chart should help make this conversion easy for those not used to metric scale.

    Based on this chart for conversion of the EQXX range reported, we see that the Mercedes-Benz EQXX has about a 259 MPGe rating. This is extremely good for a 900V powered electrical car, clearly beating the best numbers that have been reported by Tesla to date.

    The EQXX important facts as a glance:

    • #MissionAccomplished: more than 1,000 km with a single battery charge in real everyday traffic allows for relaxed long-distance journeys.
    • #EnergyWizard: efficiency-enhancing measures lead to an outstandingly low consumption of 8.7 kWh per 100 km.
    • #AeroChamp: outstanding work in aerodynamics and exterior design enables a benchmark drag coefficient of 0.17, which has a particularly positive effect on fuel consumption at high speeds on the motorway.
    • #RollingEfficiency: tyres with a significantly lower rolling resistance than the class A required by the EU tyre label and improved aerodynamic geometry, combined with lightweight magnesium wheels, provide more range.
    • #ElectricDrive: the radically new drive concept developed by Mercedes-Benz achieves a benchmark efficiency of 95% from battery to wheels.
    • #PassiveCooling: innovative passive drivetrain cooling via a cooling plate in the underbody.  
    • #BionicEngineering: advanced digital tools enable innovative lightweight designs that increase efficiency and range.
    • #SolarPower: ultra-thin roof panels feed the battery system and provide up to 25 km of additional range.
    • #SoftwareDriven: software-driven approach is the key to success in achieving efficiency targets and a fast development process, including a sophisticated battery management system.
    • #GlobalResponsibleLeadership: with the VISION EQXX, Mercedes-Benz is stepping up the pace to “Lead in Electric” and “Lead in Car Software” and to set standards for sustainable mobility.

    Technical Data at a Glance:

    The team kept a trip log of the progress and thoughts and as such, Mercedes released the following excerpts from the trip log.

    An excerpt from the trip log:

    Up to 140 km/h on the motorway – low drag and rolling resistance pay off

    The first leg from Sindelfingen to the north-eastern border of Switzerland runs along Autobahn 81. At times, the VISION EQXX sliced through the wind at speeds of up to 140 km/h. With its low cd value of 0.17, it gives the wind virtually nothing to grab hold of. This world-beating figure for a road-legal vehicle results from the intelligent interaction of many individual measures. It starts with the basic shape of the body, cradling the smooth-surfaced dome of the greenhouse as it flows elegantly like a water droplet towards the rear. Equally beneficial to the aerodynamics are the small frontal area of 2.12 m² and the reduced rear track. Because this is 50 mm narrower than at the front, the rear wheels roll in the slipstream of the front wheels. The active rear diffuser, which automatically deploys at 60 km/h, provides better airflow and thus contributes significantly to the reduced drag.

    The technology vehicle gains further efficiency benefits from its tyres, with their extremely low rolling-resistance rating of 4.7. Bridgestone developed these specifically for the VISION EQXX in partnership with Mercedes-Benz. By way of comparison, the current EU tyre label requires a figure of 6.5 for the top rating in Class A. The EQS uses tyres with a rolling resistance of 5.9, which is significantly lower. With the VISION EQXX, Mercedes-Benz is now going one step further. A striking feature is the size of the new tyres. The dimensions 185/65 R 20 97 T mean they have a large diameter and a narrow tread. The specialist Turanza Eco tyres combine two innovative Bridgestone technologies that enable a higher range: ENLITEN technology reduces both rolling resistance and weight by up to 20 percent. The ologic technology reduces tyre deformation while driving, in part through a more tensioned belt section. In addition, the transition from the tyre to the wheel rim was optimised in cooperation with the Mercedes-Benz aerodynamics team.

    Over the mountains – the lightweight dividend

    The VISION EQXX's special features also include its carefully thought-through lightweight construction, which has a particularly positive effect on uphill climbs. Any keen cyclist knows why it’s always the same kind of rider out in front on mountain stages. The heavier, more muscular sprinters are always staring at the taillights of the wiry featherweights on the uphill slogs. The decisive factor is the power-to-weight ratio. It’s not about sheer performance in the sense of “faster; higher; further” but about endurance and lower energy consumption.

    This is exactly what the VISION EQXX demonstrates impressively on the approach to the Gotthard Tunnel heading for Italy. On the section between Amsteg and Göschenen, there’s a 14-kilometre uphill stretch with a gradient of up to five percent. It is here, where every gram of extra weight eats up energy, that the VISION EQXX scores sustainable points with its unladen weight of only 1,755 kilograms.

    The lightweight design concept of the VISION EQXX is comprehensive – from the materials used to innovative bionic structures that deliver a favourable power-to-weight ratio. Examples of this are the sustainable carbon-fibre-sugar composite material used for the upper part of the battery, which is also used in Formula 1, and the BIONEQXXTM rear floor, manufactured using an aluminium casting process. The light metal structural component replaces a much heavier assembly of several interconnected parts. It has gaps in places where structural strength is not required, thus saving material. This innovative design approach results in a weight saving of up to 20 percent compared to a conventionally manufactured component.

    A large part of the weight efficiency is also due to the dedicated electric chassis with lightweight F1 subframe and aluminium brake discs. Another is the battery. At 100 kWh, the power storage unit developed specifically for the VISION EQXX has almost the same amount of energy as the battery of the EQS, which is already a global benchmark among electric cars currently on the market. However, it has 50 percent less volume and is 30 percent lighter. The outcome is that the compact battery, measuring just 200 x 126 x 11 cm, is also comparatively light at 495 kilograms and fits in a compact car. The electric drive was developed in cooperation with the experts from Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.

    Back down the hill – recuperation is the name of the game

    After the Gotthard Tunnel, the road goes downhill for a very long way. This is where the VISION EQXX makes the most of the situation in its own way. While the golden rule of the professional cyclist is to go full throttle downhill to make up time, the VISION EQXX does the unthinkable and regenerates its energy reserves. In electric cars, this is called recuperation, the recovery of braking energy. In this discipline, too, the VISION EQXX sets new standards thanks to its highly efficient electric powertrain.

    The VISION EQXX can use the recuperation effect on any type of gradient and during every braking manoeuvre, thus extending its range. A positive side effect of this electric braking is that the mechanical brakes are barely used. This makes it possible for the first time to use new types of aluminium brake discs that weigh significantly less than their steel counterparts.

    Solar roof – energy snack in sunny Italy

    The VISION EQXX gets a hearty energy snack around midday in the Po Valley near Milan – not at the charging station, but via its fixed solar roof. The 117 solar cells feed the 12-volt battery, which supplies power to auxiliary consumers such as the navigation system. The added value is measurable through the load this removes from the high-voltage battery, displayed by the onboard computer. Overall, the solar booster increases the range by more than two percent – which adds up to a good 25 kilometres on a journey of over 1,000 kilometres.

    Innovative eATS – powerful, frugal, enduring

    The electric drive unit in the VISION EQXX – consisting of the electric motor, transmission and power electronics – was developed together with the F1 specialists at HPP, and has a peak output of 180 kW. Thanks to the torque available from the first rev of the motor and the very low aerodynamic and rolling resistance of the VISION EQXX, its full potential is barely tapped during the entire trip. Much more important than top performance are other factors. Just like the battery, the electric drive unit is compact, lightweight and highly efficient. Its average efficiency in this application is 95%. That means 95% of the energy from the battery ends up at the wheels.

    This goes hand-in-hand with further efficiency benefits such as the reduction of losses in the drivetrain. The engineers at Mercedes-Benz have succeeded in reducing the total losses in the drivetrain (motor, inverter and transmission) by 44% compared to an e-drive that is not based on this project. This makes a big different to the bottom line, with one percent more efficiency bringing two percent more range. This effect is further amplified by the battery of the VISION EQXX, thanks to its remarkable energy density of almost 400 Wh/l and particularly high operating voltage of more than 900 volts. And on the topic of high voltage: The VISION EQXX marks the first use of this technology, which proves itself throughout the entire journey. With not a single problem such as line overheating, everything is well under control. There are further efficiency from the active cell balancing. It ensures that energy is drawn evenly from the cells during the journey, which increases the usable energy and thus the range even more.

    Efficient thermal management system – passive powertrain cooling is all it takes

    Since the electric drivetrain generates little waste heat thanks to its high efficiency, passive cooling is sufficient throughout the journey. The cooling plate in the underbody uses the airflow to ensure even cooling. This aerodynamically highly efficient solution increases the range by 20 kilometres, while the cd value remains unchanged at a low 0.17.

    Even on the ascent to the Gotthard Tunnel, the air shutters remain closed. The air control system would only open an additional airpath if there was an increased demand for cooling the electric drive or for climate control inside the cabin on hot days or if the heat pump was running on cold days. The airpath then connects the high-pressure zone at the front of the vehicle with the low-pressure zones along the top of the bonnet. This enables highly efficient thermal management with minimal air resistance. With the shutters open, the cd value would increase by only seven points (0.007).

    Efficiency assistant – actively helping to save energy

    Whether e-drive or combustion engine, the amount of energy a motor consumes in practice ultimately depends a great deal on driving style. In Switzerland, Italy and France, “pedal to the metal” is not an option anyway, thanks to speed limits and attentive law-enforcement officers. However, the VISION EQXX also proves to be an intelligent sidekick, assisting the driver like a co-pilot with tips on the best possible driving style. The efficiency assistant provides information on energy flow, battery status, topography and even the direction and intensity of wind and sun.

    The UI/UX features an all-new, one-piece display that spans the entire width of the interior. Elements of the user interface support seamless interaction between the driver and the vehicle. These include Artificial Intelligence (AI) that mimics the way the human brain works. In the VISION EQXX, Mercedes-Benz takes a radically new UI/UX approach. A game engine takes UI graphics to a whole new level. The UI shows how real-time graphics open up new digital possibilities by reacting instantly to the driver’s needs and bringing the real world into the vehicle.

    Finale in France – crossing the finish line with around 140 kilometres of remaining range

    Shortly before crossing the finish line in Cassis, the VISION EQXX gathered energy once more through recuperation. After 11 hours and 32 minutes of driving time, it ended its 1,008-kilometre road trip with a remaining range of around 140 kilometres. This means it could have set off again for a jaunt along the Mediterranean coastline without recharging.

    The VISION EQXX has unequivocally proven the real-world potential of outstanding efficiency for electric vehicles. This first road trip to Cassis is a watershed moment on a much bigger journey that is far from over. There’s a lot more to come.

     

    The big question that needs to be asked is HOW MUCH OF THIS TECHNOLOGY will actually make it into the Mercedes-Benz EQ series of electrical vehicles?

    The VISION EQXX battery slide provided by Mercedes-Benz alone shows the big differences between the current EQS and the EQXX.

    • Anode - EQS is Graphite, EQXX is High-silicon
    • Cooling - EQS Liquid-cooled, EQXX Air-cooled
    • Battery Construction - EQS Modular, EQXX cell2pack
    • Voltage - EQS 450 V, EQXX 900V
    • Energy Content - EQS 107.8 kWh, EQXX 100 kWh

    One interesting observation is that the EQXX is RWD powered by a 180-kW (241 HP) motor versus the EQS is powered by RWD 245 kW (329 HP) or AWD 385 kW (516 HP) motors. There are also special modes that push the EQS in RWD to 500 plus HP and the AWD to 700 HP. The power consumed to go fast also affects long-term driving range of the battery packs.

    The EQXX has this long thin rear fin that clearly helps with down force and yet I would doubt it would make it into production as walking humans would clearly hit it not noticing it.

     

    It is an interesting conceptual study from the very narrow tires to the overall air stream designed for maximum mileage range. Clearly some things will make it into production for cars and SUVs but not everything.

    What do you think of this concept drive and how real can it be in a production electric auto? 

    Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX demonstrates its world-beating efficiency in real world driving – over 1,000 km on one battery charge and average consumption of 8.7 kWh/100 km - Mercedes-Benz Group Media

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    This car looks better then the EQS and it is more aerodynamic so you can have style and aero both.  
     

    I think this is a great engineering exercise and this tech will be a nice upgrade over anything in the market now.  Question is how commercially viable is this stuff, anything from an F1 car is expensive as hell, carbon fiber is expensive.  This is probably like a $250,000 C-class EV, but I think this car styling wise will lead to the EQ c-class.

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    16 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    This car looks better then the EQS and it is more aerodynamic so you can have style and aero both.  
     

    I think this is a great engineering exercise and this tech will be a nice upgrade over anything in the market now.  Question is how commercially viable is this stuff, anything from an F1 car is expensive as hell, carbon fiber is expensive.  This is probably like a $250,000 C-class EV, but I think this car styling wise will lead to the EQ c-class.

    I doubt the rear of the car would make it as is, I cannot see that bottom fin making it as people would not see it and trip over it. The rest is fine and I agree with you that this is way better looking than the EQS, EQE, EQC, EQB, EQA.

    Wonder why Mercedes never made a D-class / EQD? ?

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    7 hours ago, David said:

    I doubt the rear of the car would make it as is, I cannot see that bottom fin making it as people would not see it and trip over it. The rest is fine and I agree with you that this is way better looking than the EQS, EQE, EQC, EQB, EQA.

    Wonder why Mercedes never made a D-class / EQD? ?

    Because the segment classification is C-segment, and E-class is Executive segment.  And S-class is Sonder-klass.

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    I find it funny that SMK is teaching German to David.   

    "And S-class is Sonder-klass."

    I also find it funny that SMK is eluding that E class signifies Executive segment.   Pseudo factual but 100% wrong...

    Im also going to teach German. 

    Before the 1990s,  D and E were used by Mercedes to signify D for Diesel and E for Fuel injection.   Fuel injection in German starts with the letter E.  

    1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D – Gaswerks Garage

    Archive: Mercedes-Benz 220E 1984 Blue in Yaba - Cars, Adex Adedoyin |  Jiji.ng

     

    In the 1990s however, because fuel injection was used in all applications, Mercedes did change the placement of the letter E to the front of the numbers to signify something else, the class below the S Class.   Biased fanboys want it to mean Executive class...but it be wrong.  Mercedes runs with it, because good marketing, but the narrative is wrong.

     The W124 would become the E200 in the 1990s rather than 200 E or D

    1990s

    File:1995 Mercedes-Benz E200 saloon, UK (25049038590).jpg - Wikimedia  Commons

     

    1980s  

    The first E-Class: 124 series (1984 to 1996) - Mercedes-Benz Group Media

     

    But nothing executive about it...

    This photo has back to back generations of  E Class cars. Both plebian taxis...

    W124 Taxi by Lew-GTR on DeviantArt

     

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    I hope Mercedes found efficiency so the tech could change the EV world that much faster.  

    Whatever tech Mercedes has found to travel 621 MILES is great for ALL EVs and for the masses that will eventually have no choice BUT to purchase. 

    So if Mercedes says its EV went 621 miles without recharging, then it should be true.

    So this (sealing of the charge port)

    22C0141_004.thumb.jpg.995fa3a4bd9f391980d29f4b20170dc6.jpg

     

    is pure theatrics and simple bullshyte!!!

    Because if its true its true....   Mercedes will put this tech into their EVs going forward and it will benefit their image, customers, the planet and will be the kings of the EV world.   

    But if its false... and just bullshyte hype, then the customers that bought into this false 621 mile claim, then their image will be severaly tarnished.  The 621 mile claim is proven and the benefits are reaped when actual customers buy and benefit from that tech.  Words are just words.  Pictures of sealed charging ports are just theatrical bullshyte.    

    If true, no need for the theatrics... is what Im saying... 

    Im also saying that Im quite pleased that 600 miles of EV range has potentially been achieved.  

     

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    On 4/16/2022 at 6:16 AM, oldshurst442 said:

    I hope Mercedes found efficiency so the tech could change the EV world that much faster.  

    Whatever tech Mercedes has found to travel 621 MILES is great for ALL EVs and for the masses that will eventually have no choice BUT to purchase. 

    So if Mercedes says its EV went 621 miles without recharging, then it should be true.

    So this (sealing of the charge port)

    22C0141_004.thumb.jpg.995fa3a4bd9f391980d29f4b20170dc6.jpg

     

    is pure theatrics and simple bullshyte!!!

    Because if its true its true....   Mercedes will put this tech into their EVs going forward and it will benefit their image, customers, the planet and will be the kings of the EV world.   

    But if its false... and just bullshyte hype, then the customers that bought into this false 621 mile claim, then their image will be severaly tarnished.  The 621 mile claim is proven and the benefits are reaped when actual customers buy and benefit from that tech.  Words are just words.  Pictures of sealed charging ports are just theatrical bullshyte.    

    If true, no need for the theatrics... is what Im saying... 

    Im also saying that Im quite pleased that 600 miles of EV range has potentially been achieved.  

     

    We'll we now know how Mercedes did the 621 miles using Sila new Silicon Lithium-Anode material in the battery pack cells.

     

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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:
    • One thing leads to another ... having one Alphaville song in my music collection leads to being clue in to another.  These German guys - meaning Alphaville - are good. "Big in Japan" This is quintessentially '80s all the way around, which is just fine!
    • Man cave type jokes since that would describe most of the active members ... here's an oldie but goodie: Did you hear about the two lesbians who built a house? They used no studs ... it was all tongue and groove.
    • This road test of the Citroen C5 was the result of a serious upgrade in a rental at a Sicilian airport.   I’ve been assigned a smaller Citroen C3 at this very airport before – when the AirBump feature was novel and unusual - and remarked on its excellent ride and easy handling. The C5 is quite a few steps up.  Mostly, it’s all good.  This is a heavier vehicle and, along with that, the ride is like that of a bank fault.  It’s smooth, quiet, and isolated.  In some ways, it is perhaps too isolated.  By this, I mean that road feel is a little compromised owing to its very soft ride, and there is too much assist in the steering.  I noticed this upon taking out of the rental agency’s lot and through its narrow alleyways. It reminded me of an American boulevardier more so than the European SUV that it is.  It firms up some on the open road.  It’s at slow speeds that it feels way more "electric" – the way electric felt when there was the palpable adjustment we all had to make from hydraulic steering. This C5 had a diesel engine, but it was almost hard to tell that.  It is a turbo charged 4-cylinder engine.  The mileage was excellent.  It returned about 43 mpg in a combination of driving – mostly highway driving but with some small town and arduous mountain two lane road driving.  The transmission is a geared automatic unit and has 8 gears.  The shifts are extremely soft, which I feel is mostly a good thing, and suited to the C5.  The only time it’s clear that it’s geared is when pushing down the pedal – just because - or to pass. The C5 is powerful enough and certainly has the torque to sustain grades and demanding conditions.  However, passing seems to be a variable situation.  It almost seems to depend on the speed and the grade.  In most situations, it does so fairly easily.  High speed passes require some strategizing, and, in a few rare cases, it seemed better to avoid them.  In maintaining high speeds on the autostrada, it does so effortlessly and stably.  You might not have an idea how fast you’re going (114 km = 70 mph, and, on a few occasions, there were some 120 kms and 130 kms where the “bank vault” feeling didn’t let on that this was the actual speed). The workmanship is quite good.  The seats had centralized cloth surfaces with bolsters and side construction of either leather or leatherette.  There is stitching that is attractive and taut.  The C5 is ideal and comfortable for long hauls.  Front seat comfort and leg room is more than adequate, and rear seat leg room is acceptable.  Rear storage space is capacious, and this is without folding forward the rear seats.  The small lift-up area for the tire well provides for some additional storage and symmetrical small cubbies on the sides of the rear storage area can come in handy. Except for the diagonal edge on the infotainment center screen (a pet peeve), I really liked the volumes of the dashboard. Everything was nicely crafted.  Linear gauges for fuel and temperature seem to be the thing these days and, although nice, it would be easier if they indicated critical zones in orange and/or red.  The audio quality appeared to be good.  Also, setting up Bluetooth and keeping Android Auto going seemed easy. The console, which opens lengthwise in the middle, is both unusual and large.  The air conditioning works quickly.  In concert with liking the volumes of the dashboard, the number and placement of vents worked well to distribute the cool air.  Ahead of the console are two ergonomically placed cupholders and all the switches for key operating functions ahead of them reflect quality workmanship and are easy to operate. These would include the pushbutton engine start button, the transmission lever, the drive mode selector, and the parking brake.  That said, I found operating some of these features on a rented (and reviewed) BMW Series II Gran Coupe less intuitive.  In general, I liked everything about day in-day out living in this C5 more than in the fussier BMW Gran Coupe.  However, with its lower framework and Germanic underpinnings, the BMW really shone for its roadability and the sense of control it offered. The C5’s silhouette is not that captivating.  However, they work around the “chunkiness” and this can be seen from the interior.  I was surprised at how good rear visibility is.  The seating position is high and commanding relative to the road.  In tight spaces, the tabletop look of the hood ahead of the windshield doesn’t have clearly defined ridges and is harder to work with.  It appears wide for the genre.  Thankfully, the parking assist feature and other traffic sensors were fairly sensitive. I asked a friend who likes cars and rents them often in Europe what he thought of the major French brands.  He ranked them as follows: Citroen, Peugeot, and then Renault.  This vehicle speaks well to the Citroen brand and also aligned with what I’ve experienced among these brands. For a person with a little extra money and who needs the space, a supple ride, and its “thickness” all the way around, the Citroen C5 is a good choice.  On a few occasions, its vagueness annoyed me, but that wasn’t too often.  It was challenging to operate on a few narrower Sicilian streets and alleys, but that would apply to narrow streets and parking lots anywhere.  For some, this C5 could check most, if not all, of the boxes. - - - - - PHOTOS FORTHCOMING
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