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Just got the 2021 Pacifica Hybrid Limited and it's going great, but had question re: battery use/regeneration. Is there a way to manually select the full electric vs ICE on trips? From what I've seen so far, looks like no.

In addition, I was out driving this weekend and car switched to ICE and then started charging the battery back to 100%. I was on a flat country road, so not breaking much or going downhill to explain recharge. The gas tank was down just below 1/4 tank, so not sure if it fills the battery back up to make sure you have extra energy before the gas tank gets to empty? Any insight would be helpful!
 

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Unfortunately not.. this is a big gripe among owners who have come from other plug-in hybrids. I think the idea Chrysler had was to make this as simple and easy as possible.

Regarding it charging back up while driving, I've never seen this before unless you are going downhill. Normally once you have used the battery it stays in Hybrid mode and doesn't add back charge. It will keep some nominal amount of charge in the battery in Hybrid mode but you will never see it on the battery charge meter.

When I was staying in an AirBnB house on top of a mountain, though, I'd recover about 60% of the battery while regen braking down hill. This points out another nitpick as you can't set charging limits other than scheduling.. other vehicles like the Chevy Volt allow you to set a max charge so if you live on a hill you can regen the remaining charge back to 100%.
 
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The Pacifica sometimes does run on gas and will charge the battery but it all depends on lots of circumstances. Temp , trip duration , throttle , hvac usage inside . If the engine hasn’t been used in a while it will cycle , charge the battery , and you will be driving in full on gas mode .
 

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Just to be clear, when the battery is depleted, it runs as a regular hybrid, storing and using electric power as it becomes available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to be clear, when the battery is depleted, it runs as a regular hybrid, storing and using electric power as it becomes available.
Yeah - it's definitely done that, but the battery life always stays at 0% when in the hybrid mode. This weekend, it increased all the way up from mid-80% to 99% (over just a few miles of flat road).
 

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Yeah - it's definitely done that, but the battery life always stays at 0% when in the hybrid mode. This weekend, it increased all the way up from mid-80% to 99% (over just a few miles of flat road).
I wish it had some modes to manage the operation a little more. However, it is almost never beneficial to charge the battery with the engine. There will be efficiency losses both ways and it is better to just apply the engine directly to propulsion if the battery is depleted. Regenerative breaking is a whole other story. It is basically free energy, so that will always go to the battery if there is capacity available.
 

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I think the idea Chrysler had was to make this as simple and easy as possible.
I understand your statement, but I strongly disagree with the notion that switchable modes are not simple (and I'm not saying you're asserting that).

It would be very easy to keep it simple while having switchable modes. In fact, some PHEVs out there do this: enable the mode switching (at least Hybrid-EV switch), and make the EV mode the default. So that if you're not fiddling with the switch and have the charge in the battery, the vehicle would use up the battery before turning on the ICE.

I read that the complicating factor is people would forget to turn off the hybrid mode and end up running the whole trip in hybrid, losing the advantage of the EV charge. To that, I answer that it's very easy to implement an obvious visual indicator of which mode you're in, and whether the ICE is running. This way, if you set out on, say, a 100 mile drive for a short vacation, and have several short-distance trips at the destination (say, gas station to restaurant to shopping mall to hotel), you'll either remember to switch to EV in the destination city or town, or end up in EV mode anyways as soon as you start the vehicle on your first short trip.

It is indeed one of the few gripes I have about the otherwise amazing vehicle that Chrysler put together.
 

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I understand your statement, but I strongly disagree with the notion that switchable modes are not simple (and I'm not saying you're asserting that).

It would be very easy to keep it simple while having switchable modes. In fact, some PHEVs out there do this: enable the mode switching (at least Hybrid-EV switch), and make the EV mode the default. So that if you're not fiddling with the switch and have the charge in the battery, the vehicle would use up the battery before turning on the ICE.

I read that the complicating factor is people would forget to turn off the hybrid mode and end up running the whole trip in hybrid, losing the advantage of the EV charge. To that, I answer that it's very easy to implement an obvious visual indicator of which mode you're in, and whether the ICE is running. This way, if you set out on, say, a 100 mile drive for a short vacation, and have several short-distance trips at the destination (say, gas station to restaurant to shopping mall to hotel), you'll either remember to switch to EV in the destination city or town, or end up in EV mode anyways as soon as you start the vehicle on your first short trip.

It is indeed one of the few gripes I have about the otherwise amazing vehicle that Chrysler put together.
You're forgetting that the US gummint has a lot to say about this. Simply put, the EPA rating is based on what is considered typical average use of a vehicle. If Chrysler allowed the switch you desire, the EPA rating would be lower, and Chrysler would have to pay a larger fine for not meeting minimum standards. As always, follow the money.
 
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Toyota and Honda don't seem to be restricted in this regard of selecting vehicle modes (EV only, Hybrid only, etc).
Their EPA fuel economy numbers on their hybrid and plugin hybrid vehicles are quite high.

In addition, Jeep has decided to include this very same user selectible mode feature on the Wrangler 4XE plugin hybrid. Some have called it CDJR's Gen 2 hybrid system. Also looks like they will include it on their other upcoming plugin hybrid vehicles.

However, I doubt we see this feature in the Pacifica Hybrid until full model refresh in some years.
Pacifica was their first Gen hybrid system, so I don't think they are going to change much with it until Gen 2 hybrid powertrain comes out in the Pacifica. At that time, perhaps we may see an all wheel drive Pacifica Hybrid also. We can only hope!
 

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I understand your statement, but I strongly disagree with the notion that switchable modes are not simple (and I'm not saying you're asserting that).

It would be very easy to keep it simple while having switchable modes. In fact, some PHEVs out there do this: enable the mode switching (at least Hybrid-EV switch), and make the EV mode the default. So that if you're not fiddling with the switch and have the charge in the battery, the vehicle would use up the battery before turning on the ICE.

I read that the complicating factor is people would forget to turn off the hybrid mode and end up running the whole trip in hybrid, losing the advantage of the EV charge. To that, I answer that it's very easy to implement an obvious visual indicator of which mode you're in, and whether the ICE is running. This way, if you set out on, say, a 100 mile drive for a short vacation, and have several short-distance trips at the destination (say, gas station to restaurant to shopping mall to hotel), you'll either remember to switch to EV in the destination city or town, or end up in EV mode anyways as soon as you start the vehicle on your first short trip.

It is indeed one of the few gripes I have about the otherwise amazing vehicle that Chrysler put together.
I completely agree with you... I'd love to have a switch! I just try to understand the opaque decision making by Chrysler. The only thing else I can imagine would be there "defense" other than "simplicity" is that possibly the acceleration of the electric only mode somehow doesn't meet required minimums or something as this thing is quite a bit heavier than a GM Volt. So even if it did have a switch they'd have to include some sort of "if it's floored go ahead and kick on the engine for max torque" or something which sort of defeats the switch.

I'd also like to see a charge limit control so that if you live on a mountain or something, you can start the day with 40% battery and charge it up while you e-brake down the hill. GM has this on their plug-in hybrids so it's not impossible. I experience this myself when I was at an AirBNB on a mountain in New Mexico and I could easily get about 50% charge just going down the mountain into town.
 

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This way, if you set out on, say, a 100 mile drive for a short vacation, and have several short-distance trips at the destination (say, gas station to restaurant to shopping mall to hotel), you'll either remember to switch to EV in the destination city or town, or end up in EV mode anyways as soon as you start the vehicle on your first short trip.
From my experience driving the car without plugging it in for a month (as I was waiting for a new charger module), I think it's a false expectation. Hybrid mode THRIVES on urban driving; I'd frequently get a good third of my urban trips as electric kilometers (as indicated by the report when you shut down the car), even on "0%" battery.

So I think it's much more efficient to use up whatever charge you have in the car first, and use regen later. Only exception to this would be the "I live on a mountain" case mentioned above. In this case, you can get a "smart" EVSE like the JuiceBox and set limits there.
 
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I came from the Prius Plug In which only could get 12 ish real miles all electric in ideal circumstances. It could however toggle between ev and hybrid modes, so something I learned on the priuschat forum from diehard hypermilers was a highly active use of the toggle. We'd switch to hybrid at a red light for ice acceleration and then only switch back to ev for flat or downhill cruising or coasting, etc.

But see the thing was, I enjoyed this "game" and even affectionately called it Tokyo Drift, but my wife could have cared less about using the toggle strategically.
 

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The simplicity bit is there for sure - it's not always right but it's a compromise on efficiency for a large vehicle. Lets take cold weather as a start - we know that below freezing the van will run the ICE to warm fluids and the cabin. Heating isn't very efficient using electric and so ICE is preferred in that scenario - and the efficiency is made worse by the large volume of the Pacifica (where smaller EV cabins can be more efficiently heated by electric).

The van does prioritize electric over gas - and when the electric has been depleted, it does keep pushing a bit of energy back to the battery that it then deploys in very short order to reduce ICE output. At highway speeds, you'll find the ICE will run almost continuously (maybe aside from a good downhill stretch of road) but in urban lower speed environments the van will switch back to electric mode for a good portion of time.

If you were low on gas, maybe it does try and charge the battery. I've not seen that yet but would be interesting behavior.

John
 
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