How did FCA US LLC come up with the target range of 33 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery for the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid?
By analyzing the daily commute of minivan customers.
“The 33 miles of all-electric range will get you through your daily commute to and from school, to and from soccer practice,” explained John Gibson, chief engineer, electrified powertrain programs. “We’ve designed what we feel is an ideal balance of the driving range based on the minivan customer needs.”
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is rated to deliver a range of 33 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from its 16-kWh Li-ion battery. It also earned a fuel economy rating of 84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) and a total driving range rating of 566 miles.
“Families could quite possibly go months without having to go to the gas station,” said Matt McAlear, senior manager, Chrysler brand product marketing. “This is cool. It’s seamless. It’s there for the driver. It’s easy to charge. It’s easy to take care of.”
Because Pacifica Hybrid owners could feasibly drive for weeks or months using just the battery power, the Pacifica Hybrid constantly monitors the average age of fuel in the tank. If needed, the Pacifica Hybrid will automatically shift from electric to hybrid mode to cycle through any fuel that is more than 90 days old, eliminating the need to add a fuel stabilizer – meaning customers have one less thing to think about.
‘Don’t have to choose’
The new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is designed to switch between electric and hybrid modes as needed, maximizing efficiency while delivering a seamless driving experience.
When the battery’s energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning FCA US Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine.
“We didn’t want to have our customers have to choose what mode they have to be in,” Gibson added. “The control system is designed to always put the vehicle in its most efficient mode so that our customers can just get in and drive.”
Having the option of electric or gas propulsion also lessens “range anxiety” for families.
“If you want to use the plug and keep it charged all through the week, but you want to forget about it for a month and go on a road trip vacation, it’s got a 16-gallon fuel tank and it has a V-6 under the hood,” McAlear added. “It offers families no comprises. No range anxieties. No hassles. Use it the way you see fit. It’s there for you when you need it and don’t need it.”