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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Toyota to Take Bigger Interest in Subaru

      ...time to buy some stock...

    Toyota is in plans to purchase additional shares of Subaru to raise its stake to over 20% from around 17% today. Subaru in kind will also invest back in Toyota via a similar stock purchase of Toyota. If the deal is approved by Toyota's board, it is a step towards making Subaru a whole owned subsidiary that would create a 'Mega Toyota'.  Toyota recently announced a similar purchase of Suzuki shares to form a new alliance for the Indian market. 

    Toyota and Subaru have worked together before on projects such as the Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 and Subaru for a time built Toyota Camrys at its plant in Indiana.

    Toyota sees Subaru as being strong in sport utility vehicles and in all-wheel drive technology. Toyota and Subaru have also announced plans to jointly build a platform for an electric SUV.

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    Consolidation is what the auto company needs and this appears to me to be a first step in that direction.

    I wonder how it would be viewed here in America, I am sure there are those that would be yelling the Anti-trust crusade against this.

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    6 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Consolidation is what the auto company needs and this appears to me to be a first step in that direction.

    I wonder how it would be viewed here in America, I am sure there are those that would be yelling the Anti-trust crusade against this.

    You can't have anti-trust when you have this many companies competing. 

    Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, (yes, they're separate), Daimler, BMW, JLR, VW, Mazda, FCA, Mitsubishi, Tesla, Volvo

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    You can't have anti-trust when you have this many companies competing. 

    Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, (yes, they're separate), Daimler, BMW, JLR, VW, Mazda, FCA, Mitsubishi, Tesla, Volvo

    True, I was just thinking of the groups that seem to think everything is anti-trust and sue over every possible merger.

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    3 hours ago, balthazar said:

    ^ can’t argue against that.

    toyoter should buy daimler; they have just enough cash to do it.

    Actually, China may be more likely to buy out all these lame brands and possibly clean house just to rationalize the auto industry AND devour all that auto IP without violating any laws or treaties.  Toyota, not so much.  Toyota actually has to listen to shareholders.

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    15 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Actually, China may be more likely to buy out all these lame brands and possibly clean house just to rationalize the auto industry AND devour all that auto IP without violating any laws or treaties.  Toyota, not so much.  Toyota actually has to listen to shareholders.

    This would make total sense, buy up all the lame ducks, then fold them into the brands they want global and push out the Chinese products while killing off the Asian, European and American brands.

    Chinese domination of the world with some backlash.

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    China might do that.  I don't see how Subaru and Mazda survive as independents with how expensive self driving and electric car development is.  If Toyota bought both, and utilized the AWD system of Subaru, the sky active engines of Mazda and Toyota hybrids and their own stuff, they can come up with a powertrain they can put all over the place, and have a 4 brand line up.

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    ...with how expensive [   ] electric car development is.

    Pffft- the development is cheap. Less moving parts, less R&D, less assembly labor. It's the vendor battery cost.... and the OEM markup that's expensive.

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    Interesting, because I don't see China having that much cash. They manipulate their currency more than Willie Nelson cleans out his pipe, and China's economy is in the dumpster for good reason.

    As far as Toyota they'll continue to try to partner with or buy stock in other automakers, it's what they've done for decades, TMC is pretty unoriginal anymore. The "new Supra" is just a BMW Z4 wrapped in Supra sheet metal, and then there's the BRZ/FRS twins that's all Subaru, again minus the sheet metal. No pride in development anymore at Toyota, look how old all of their models are including most Lexus models. There's also the "NUMMI" co-op they had with GM in Freemont, CA back in the 90's where they mainly built the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix. I have a buddy from college who worked there and said it was basically Toyota learning from GM on how to better operate in the US market because it's much different from Japan's. They partner with well established auto giants like GM or smaller ones depending on the industry knowledge or technology they can gain from them. Is there an auto manufacturer Toyota hasn't partnered with or tried to at some point? I know there are some, just making a point that the Asian brands including Hyundai/Kia have always copied others in many ways. 

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    8 hours ago, USA-1 Vortec 6.2 said:

    Interesting, because I don't see China having that much cash. They manipulate their currency more than Willie Nelson cleans out his pipe, and China's economy is in the dumpster for good reason.

    As far as Toyota they'll continue to try to partner with or buy stock in other automakers, it's what they've done for decades, TMC is pretty unoriginal anymore. The "new Supra" is just a BMW Z4 wrapped in Supra sheet metal, and then there's the BRZ/FRS twins that's all Subaru, again minus the sheet metal. No pride in development anymore at Toyota, look how old all of their models are including most Lexus models. There's also the "NUMMI" co-op they had with GM in Freemont, CA back in the 90's where they mainly built the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix. I have a buddy from college who worked there and said it was basically Toyota learning from GM on how to better operate in the US market because it's much different from Japan's. They partner with well established auto giants like GM or smaller ones depending on the industry knowledge or technology they can gain from them. Is there an auto manufacturer Toyota hasn't partnered with or tried to at some point? I know there are some, just making a point that the Asian brands including Hyundai/Kia have always copied others in many ways. 

    Yes, Toyota and Hyundai/KIA do copy others in terms of CARS and markets.  They did not copy the bad ideas, such as slavish worship of the bottom line and really antagonistic unions (SK aside).  Arguably, Toyota may have the best of both worlds these days from a financial standpoint.  If originality made the kind of cash flow that is heavily desired, Toyota would be in serious trouble.  Then again, Toyota has big market share and a lot of loyal customers since 1978 who will NEVER buy a GM or Ford vehicle again.  Toyota now is what Chevrolet was in 1970: the default choice of (nowadays) FWD appliances.  Especially in this era of leasing dominating the marketplace and 72 month financing, Toyota is in an enviable position and it will probably stay that way for a long time to come. 

    As for China, China could still buy out a lot of weak automakers when the next recession hits and still clean house since that government has huge ambitions and nearly unlimited resources to do just that.

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    False public perception of Toyota being a "default choice" is just sheeple following the herd. Especially, since the early 2000's when Toyota quality and craftsmanship took a downward turn and hasn't come back. I know people that have have many problems with Toyota vehicles for example the Unintended Acceleration Recall that included over 4 million vehicles that TMC would like all of us to forget, those people will or should NEVER by a Toyota again if they had a clue. I've never owned a Toyota and never will because I don't fall for their false perception of quality. Toyota is the choice of today's "throw away car" nothing that will ever be a Classic car like many 1970's Chevrolet's are today.  

    I never said China didn't have "huge ambitions" to buy up what they can, but they also like to STEAL anything they can. China as a country wouldn't be anywhere close to where they are now without the U.S.A., sad as it may sound. My point of the country buying certain automakers would come down to the persuasion the US Gov't would have, in that, many of those foreign owned automakers have manf. plants here in the US that own the land the plants sit on. Guaranteed our Gov't will hold up that transaction because those automakers have US laws to abide by when it comes to more US soil being sold to a communist, hostile country like China.  

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    9 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Yes, Toyota and Hyundai/KIA do copy others in terms of CARS and markets.  They did not copy the bad ideas, such as slavish worship of the bottom line and really antagonistic unions (SK aside).  Arguably, Toyota may have the best of both worlds these days from a financial standpoint.  If originality made the kind of cash flow that is heavily desired, Toyota would be in serious trouble.  Then again, Toyota has big market share and a lot of loyal customers since 1978 who will NEVER buy a GM or Ford vehicle again.  Toyota now is what Chevrolet was in 1970: the default choice of (nowadays) FWD appliances.  Especially in this era of leasing dominating the marketplace and 72 month financing, Toyota is in an enviable position and it will probably stay that way for a long time to come. 

    As for China, China could still buy out a lot of weak automakers when the next recession hits and still clean house since that government has huge ambitions and nearly unlimited resources to do just that.

    False public perception of Toyota being a "default choice" is just Sheeple following the herd. Especially, since the early 2000's when Toyota quality and craftsmanship took a downward turn and hasn't come back. I know people who have had many problems with Toyota vehicles one for example the huge "Unintended Acceleration" Recall that included over 4 million vehicles that TMC would like all of us to forget, those people will or should NEVER buy a Toyota again if they had a clue. I've never owned a Toyota and never will because I don't fall for their false perception of quality. Toyota is the choice of today's "throw away car" nothing that will ever be a Classic car like many 1970's Chevrolet's are today.  

    I never said China didn't have "huge ambitions" to buy up what they can, but they also like to STEAL anything they can. China as a country wouldn't be anywhere close to where they are now without the U.S.A., sad as it may sound. My point of the country buying certain automakers would come down to the persuasion the U.S. Gov't would have, in that, many of those foreign owned automakers have manf. plants here in the U.S. that own the land the plants sit on. Guaranteed the U.S. Gov't will hold up that transaction because those automakers have laws to abide by when it comes to more U.S. soil being sold to a communist, hostile country like China.

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    You guys are quick to glutton and band all the the brands together- they need to just die on their own. There is nothing wrong with teaming up-that is the future. Companies like Mazda or Ford would simply just go out of business, and what little successful products they have other companies can just pick the bones of. I also expect China to get into the cheap car game very soon, putting many companies on both notice and out of business (and we wonder why GM is fighting the UAW).

     

    I’ve said it before, and will say it again-the day of the car (or truck) is dying...you’ll NEVER see the same sales number of a few years ago. With a society that can bring everything to your door, there is no longer a needed expense for a vehicle. And with the current price, student debt, and upcoming recession-who can blame them? Times are going to change ...more than folks expect......

    Over half the companies you see now will either be gone (or bought by China to brand image their cheap cars).  Vehicles are going the same way as brick and mortar retail........

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    Respectively, I don’t think so, Tim. If mitshu could go thru numerous scandalous revelations on corporate negligence and still be selling vehicles (somehow), I don’t see cause for a majority to ‘simply go out of business’. Especially Ford (we know you hate the Co.). 

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    18 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

    You guys are quick to glutton and band all the the brands together- they need to just die on their own. There is nothing wrong with teaming up-that is the future. Companies like Mazda or Ford would simply just go out of business, and what little successful products they have other companies can just pick the bones of. I also expect China to get into the cheap car game very soon, putting many companies on both notice and out of business (and we wonder why GM is fighting the UAW).

     

    I’ve said it before, and will say it again-the day of the car (or truck) is dying...you’ll NEVER see the same sales number of a few years ago. With a society that can bring everything to your door, there is no longer a needed expense for a vehicle. And with the current price, student debt, and upcoming recession-who can blame them? Times are going to change ...more than folks expect......

    Over half the companies you see now will either be gone (or bought by China to brand image their cheap cars).  Vehicles are going the same way as brick and mortar retail........

    China has already tried their hand at car manufacturing and failed miserably, so they would definitely have to lie, cheat and steal their way in, like usual. The cheap junk cars the Chinese tried to build couldn't pass US DOT and prob never will. South Korean cars aren't much better, DOT let things slide with Hyundai and Kia back when they starting selling in the U.S. in the mid 80's that would never fly today. My cousin had an '88 Hyundai Excel that was the biggest POS ever made and very unsafe, multiple issues mainly with the brakes and just a horrible build quality. Hyundai definitely didn't "Excel" at anything then and still really don't today unless they copy other manufacturers designs, too bad US DOT didn't cut them out back then.

    No, there's nothing wrong with Auto Manufacturers teaming up, but it's all that Toyota really does anymore. I know GM and Honda have recently teamed up on the Hydrogen Fuel Cells that Honda can bring to the table and the EV/Hybrid tech GM has to bring as well, but that's technology sharing, not buying another manufacturer's chassis and powertrain to put your sheet metal on like Toyota loves to do. I mean Toyota should at least have enough pride to put their own powertrain in it, but then again TMC obviously doesn't have a decent powertrain that's not 10+ years old so... 

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    4 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Respectively, I don’t think so, Tim. If mitshu could go thru numerous scandalous revelations on corporate negligence and still be selling vehicles (somehow), I don’t see cause for a majority to ‘simply go out of business’. Especially Ford (we know you hate the Co.). 

    I don't hate Ford...(not sure where you got that) Not sure how my name is Tim either... ? 

    And while my revolation is a bit on the dark side I admit (Hey, I don't like it either)

    I want to know where they are going to go?

    I chose Ford only as an example- the only thing holding their head above water right now is the F-150.

    The Explorer is nearly a failed launch- and I'm not so sure about the Escape.

    And as much as I don't like the girly looking Escape- I don't  want it to fail.

    This is putting some serious pressure on the Bronco to be a major success...

    Come on, don't hate the player, hate the game..... ? 

     

    Edited by daves87rs
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    3 hours ago, USA-1 Vortec 6.2 said:

    China has already tried their hand at car manufacturing and failed miserably, so they would definitely have to lie, cheat and steal their way in, like usual. The cheap junk cars the Chinese tried to build couldn't pass US DOT and prob never will. South Korean cars aren't much better, DOT let things slide with Hyundai and Kia back when they starting selling in the U.S. in the mid 80's that would never fly today. My cousin had an '88 Hyundai Excel that was the biggest POS ever made and very unsafe, multiple issues mainly with the brakes and just a horrible build quality. Hyundai definitely didn't "Excel" at anything then and still really don't today unless they copy other manufacturers designs, too bad US DOT didn't cut them out back then.

    No, there's nothing wrong with Auto Manufacturers teaming up, but it's all that Toyota really does anymore. I know GM and Honda have recently teamed up on the Hydrogen Fuel Cells that Honda can bring to the table and the EV/Hybrid tech GM has to bring as well, but that's technology sharing, not buying another manufacturer's chassis and powertrain to put your sheet metal on like Toyota loves to do. I mean Toyota should at least have enough pride to put their own powertrain in it, but then again TMC obviously doesn't have a decent powertrain that's not 10+ years old so... 

    Too bad Hyundai/KIA offered a ten-year warranty in 2001 and still have it to this day.  Too bad GM and Ford did not try to come close to matching that.  Hyundai came a long way from the late 80s and the 90s, where it made no sense to buy anything they were selling.  There are very few Hyundais and KIAs from before 2001 on the road these days, mostly because of awful sales.

    As for Toyota, there is no compelling reason to buy one of those vehicles anymore that you cannot get from another automaker at either a better value or with more/better features in most cases.

    In the next global recession, China will probably find a way to buy out the weaker auto nameplates for pennies on the dollar and do what they please, either in the CDM or worldwide.  China is the the world's biggest car market now.

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    3 hours ago, USA-1 Vortec 6.2 said:

    China has already tried their hand at car manufacturing and failed miserably, so they would definitely have to lie, cheat and steal their way in, like usual. The cheap junk cars the Chinese tried to build couldn't pass US DOT and prob never will. South Korean cars aren't much better, DOT let things slide with Hyundai and Kia back when they starting selling in the U.S. in the mid 80's that would never fly today. My cousin had an '88 Hyundai Excel that was the biggest POS ever made and very unsafe, multiple issues mainly with the brakes and just a horrible build quality. Hyundai definitely didn't "Excel" at anything then and still really don't today unless they copy other manufacturers designs, too bad US DOT didn't cut them out back then.

    No, there's nothing wrong with Auto Manufacturers teaming up, but it's all that Toyota really does anymore. I know GM and Honda have recently teamed up on the Hydrogen Fuel Cells that Honda can bring to the table and the EV/Hybrid tech GM has to bring as well, but that's technology sharing, not buying another manufacturer's chassis and powertrain to put your sheet metal on like Toyota loves to do. I mean Toyota should at least have enough pride to put their own powertrain in it, but then again TMC obviously doesn't have a decent powertrain that's not 10+ years old so... 

    Considering I deal with China (and the rest of the world) on a daily basis, I would say it is a dated theory now. The rest of the world is catching up to us fast. Not perfect, but they are getting there...

     I do hear you though. Sometimes it just doesn't hurt though. Me happy that FCA is not playing around too much with the Dodge twins and kinda Jeep. (though that baby Jeep is not bad. ? ) I think EV is going to bring everyone's tech together....

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    53 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

    Considering I deal with China (and the rest of the world) on a daily basis, I would say it is a dated theory now. The rest of the world is catching up to us fast. Not perfect, but they are getting there...

     I do hear you though. Sometimes it just doesn't hurt though. Me happy that FCA is not playing around too much with the Dodge twins and kinda Jeep. (though that baby Jeep is not bad. ? ) I think EV is going to bring everyone's tech together....

    The rest of the world is catching up to us by riding on our gigantic coat tail, because our past selfish or clueless politicians and administrations have let them.  

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    Too bad Hyundai/KIA offered a ten-year warranty in 2001 and still have it to this day.  Too bad GM and Ford did not try to come close to matching that.  Hyundai came a long way from the late 80s and the 90s, where it made no sense to buy anything they were selling.  There are very few Hyundais and KIAs from before 2001 on the road these days, mostly because of awful sales.

    As for Toyota, there is no compelling reason to buy one of those vehicles anymore that you cannot get from another automaker at either a better value or with more/better features in most cases.

    In the next global recession, China will probably find a way to buy out the weaker auto nameplates for pennies on the dollar and do what they please, either in the CDM or worldwide.  China is the the world's biggest car market now.

    If people actually read the fine print of the 10yr./100k mi. Hyundai warranty they would see certain important parts aren't included so it's not a true bumper to bumper, and it's not transferable to the next owner(s) where it drops significantly in yrs./mileage coverage. GM on the other hand has 3yr./36k mi. to 4yr. 50k mi. bumper to bumper and a 5yr./60k mi. 6yr./70k mi. powertrain warranty that is transferable to the next owner(s). Hyundai knows that most people don't keep a vehicle for 10yrs. or even 100k mi. and would lose their @sses with warranty work if they did, but the typical throw away car buyer will take the long warranty bait on a cheap car make that isn't known for being reliable at all. 2001 or older Hyundai's or KIA's are in the junk yard.

    I realize that China is the largest car market now because more and more of the billions of Chinese are driving and clouding the country out with smog because their cheap emissions equipment is very ineffective on most of their vehicles, no real industry standards are set. There are many billionaire investors in China that could possibly buy struggling car manufacturers, but the country as a whole is in bad shape right now, and many economic analysts say China is in a recession right now or very close to one, but they won't admit it to the rest of the world for fear of further economic woes. 

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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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