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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid enthusiasts,
I was browsing looking for a local Plug-in America event I could show the public the great PacHy at, and ran across a link to PlugStar. This has a great comparison feature to line up ALL the EV and Plug-in Hybrids that are available by area code. I was happy to see my/our PacHy among the options and it really stands out from the crowd when looking at the miles in EV and the total range as compared to other larger vehicles. In fact, looking at the fancy European options like BMW and Mercedes and Jaguar, some of them only offer EV in the first 11-17 miles. Why bother! With a net starting price after incentives of $32K, I think the PacHy is a real deal and comparable price to the regular model as well as the competition non-hybids.
ONE QUESTION, see the link of the feature on PlugStar showing the Pacifica Hybrid monthly sales. I was VERY surprised to see the PacHy sales nationally at only about 600 units per month. Why so low?

https://plugstar.zappyride.com/cars

I would think Chrysler could so some advertising if it wanted and make this 6000 units monthly easily! If all minivan purchasers were made aware of the "similar to non-hybrid" net price, and the vast difference in annual operating costs (lower gas use), I would think the PacHy is at the top of the pack as far as choices. I'm comparing Odessey and Sienna in this mix. I understand exceptions such as if someone wants AWD with a Sienna as an option. But otherwise, PacHy should be a first choice.
This coming from me, a guy who had never purchased an American brand car before and thought he never would!
I'm really enthusiastic about the PacHy if you haven't figured this out yet, and wonder why Chrysler doesn't take advantage of it's real gem of a product before the competition starts offering plug-in hybrids among minivans. Someone call the Marketing folks at Chrysler and wake them up!
What to my other PacHy enthusiasts think? I welcome your honest opinions.
ps. I understand the first 2017 model year had issues, but since 2018, I think it is a great product. Please concentrate your responses on 2018+ models.
 

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The Pacifica has the stigma of being a minivan. Lots of people won't even consider it even if it fits their needs the best. I was in that camp before the Pachy came out and bought a '16 Highlander. Traded that in for the '19 Pachy and am loving the combination of size, fuel economy, and family friendliness of it.
 

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I own a gas Pacifica so not a PacHy enthusiast but I did think about buying a PacHy. I don't think the FCA marketing folks need to be woken up. Increasing PacHy sales from 600 per month to 6000 would not be easy. 6000 per month would represent roughly 60% of all Pacifica's sold on an annual basis. Electric vehicles in any form are no where near 60% of new vehicle sales across the entire market. I think doubling the sales of the PacHy would be a challenge with even a wide awake marketing staff. After all, this is a mini van. Buyers tend to shy away from mini vans in favor of SUVs.

I chose a gas model for some basic reasons:
Although it would be intriguing to drive electric, the annual savings were not high enough based on my driving.
The PacHy stripped out too many features, when compared to the Limited gas model, including stow-n-go second row and zero towing capacity.
Unknown battery replacement cost and life. I keep my vehicles a long time so the cost to replace the battery becomes a factor.
Resale value of the hybrid compared to a gas model in 8 to 10 years.
Did not know enough on how a hybrid would operate in cold, northern climate. Would I be happy with performance or sacrifices during winter months? Now I know I probably would be okay, but then I did not.

Some reasons FCA may not want to put a lot of marketing cost/effort (which includes educating consumers on hybrid technology) into the PacHy:
The profit margin for the PacHy is likely lower than the gas model
The PacHy is affordable only because of government subsidies which run out when sales quantities reach thresholds or could be eliminated entirely sooner.
This is relatively new technology for FCA. There is risk in selling too many, too soon. Unanticipated problems can cost lots of $$$ across a higher sales number.
FCA may have manufacturing limits as to how many PacHy's they can build based on battery availability, etc. (Look at the manufacturing problems Tesla is having in ramping up their sales and they have been at it awhile)

I'm sure there are other factors but it is not a simple or cheap thing to increase PacHy sales to 6,000/month.
I am glad for your experience, and others, with the PacHy. It is a good vehicle.
 

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I've read in several places that PHEV hybrids are big money losers per vehicle. High horsepower electric motors and large batteries are very expensive, plus the costly technology to support battery cooling and power crossover systems. Chrysler probably just wants to build enough to be in the game, and let the gas vehicle production absorb the losses. Regular hybrids have much smaller, less complicated (and cheaper) electrical components.

I don't understand the enthusiasm of some people who think this will save the planet. The thoughtful verdict is not in on that yet. Remember when those spiral light bulbs (now deemed poisonous) were touted as going to save the planet? Not everything is as it is blindly painted by the green advocates.
 

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I don't understand the enthusiasm of some people who think this will save the planet. The thoughtful verdict is not in on that yet. Remember when those spiral light bulbs (now deemed poisonous) were touted as going to save the planet? Not everything is as it is blindly painted by the green advocates.
Plug-in hybrids are always going to be a stop-gap between conventional gasoline cars and a fully electric future, nobody sees them as a solution in and of themselves. They're a compromise that gets more people familiar with charging and driving a plug-in car and saves some gas in the process.

All fluorescent lamps contain mercury, whether they're tubular lamps we've been using for 70 years or the compact ones we've had for 30. They didn't fall out of favor because they were "deemed poisonous", but because LEDs eventually surpassed them on price, efficiency, durability, dimmability, and light quality.

Sent from my H8314 using Tapatalk
 

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In fact, looking at the fancy European options like BMW and Mercedes and Jaguar, some of them only offer EV in the first 11-17 miles. Why bother!
The European hybrids use the electric portion of the drivetrain for added performance, not fuel economy. Think Porsche, Volvo, Mercedes.
 

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Most people still want a SUV or maybe Truck .

Most people still want a SUV or maybe a Truck .
Except for the Electric enthusiasts where they may want a fully electric vehicle. Also a car in the 40 to 50k range is a lot for most people . Some of these Trucks are 50 k and they are absolute
gas hogs. Then you need a charging station . Lets face it 115volts is just not going to cut it. Yeah it drives great and if you don't have a problem with it , the problems have not been trivial though.
 

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A lot of people buying minivans opt for the lower cost trim/packages... after all, if you want one for a young/growing family, then you may also have concerns that it's going to get trashed by spills and other mishaps... and since you have to wait until you file taxes for the $7500 rebate, people don't always factor that into the cost. Plus missing features in the Hybrid (stow-and-go is the biggest and power folding 3rd row, but 2018 didn't have memory seats or folding mirrors if I recall correctly) was another drawback for some. I see a lot of gas Pacificas in my area, but only 2-3 Hybrids in the 18 months I've had mine.

Then again, a number of EV enthusiasts don't like the features of the Hybrid. You can't toggle between ICE and electric mode, the regenerative braking isn't really strong enough for 1-pedal driving, and 30ish miles is pretty short range if you're trying to avoid gasoline completely.

Personally I love mine and have had minimal problems, even though it's a 17. It's mainly a hauler (brought home an 8-ft tree and assorted other plants last weekend) but still accommodates family when we all get together, I've gone from refueling weekly to once every 6-8 weeks, is comfortable for roadtrips (and don't have to charge for 30 minutes every 200 miles like my husband's EV). I went from a smart forTwo coupe to my PacHy, and I think I'm saving money on fuel. Plus my husband commented that he likes driving my van and misses its advanced safety features when he drives his older Tesla model S. So I agree that it's a great vehicle, but I'm not surprised that not everyone is going to want one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your input Waldo. Yes, unfortunately environmental concerns seem to have been politicized, so I decided not to even go near that subject. I instead, just pointed out all the benefits to the individual consumer of a PacHy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Shawnee,
Thanks for your input. I do see you have a point about significant differences between the hybrid and non-hybrid PacHy versions. Stow and go, as well as towing ability are valuable features for those that will want these instead of the hybrid benefits. I also understand folks concerns with reliability/cost of the hybrid system into the future. Personally I felt reassured that the hybrid portion of the warranty on these cars is over 100K (I think 150K in WA State), so unlikely this cost would really be an issue to me in any way except if the lithium battery wasn't included in the warranty. I have seen a few posts from those driving (now old models) prius 1st and 2nd generation versions that only a few have needed batteries replaced up to now, and they were a lot lower cost now than was anticipated early-on.

Regards, Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
MLambert,
Thanks for your input. Glad you love your PacHy. I've also seen some of the feedback from my earlier post include mentions of true EV enthusiasts not liking that EV range of 30, and not being able to force the van between EV and ICE at will. I would only point out what Arteitle in his thread noted, that a Hybrid plug-in is a technology changing stop-gap that will last for a time and serves it's purpose very well.

That purpose includes providing the majority of the savings of using EV in the first 30 miles of each day (cold weather climate use excluded) where most commuting does not much exceed this, having a more affordable price as a hybird than a strictly EV which would be much more expensive (battery cost) at this time in the ultimate change to EV in the future, providing folks with a psychological way to ease into converting by still having ICE for use when needed, 50% better MPG that the ICE-only versions, and of course the MUCH higher range as compared to true EV vehicles (which generally top out between 200-300 miles). Some folks noted that it can't charge fast on the road trips and you wouldn't want to stop every 30 miles. That is only something that is needed if you have an EV only vehicle. The PacHy I see as the great merging (among minivans) between the low MPG ICE only option and the future mostly EV options. It works great for this point in evolution of vehicles.

I'm also see the cost issue with those buying the lower end minivans that are generally around the $30K range with lower budgets. However, most of those folks also likely needed to take out a loan anyway, and if they carried the extra 10K cost of interest payments for the hybrid for just one year, then paid down their loan by the $7,500 Federal tax credit a year later, the $2,500 true net cost difference would more than pay for itself over the first 2-3 years of ownership in saved fuel and 50% better MPG. Think of the long term cost of ownership for someone using the vehicle for 150K miles which the hybrid components are warranted for by Chrysler. As long as they don't need stow and go feature of towing of course.

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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A good thread which highlights what are probably the main detriments of the PacHy versus ICE versions:

- Lack of Stow N Go.
I can't see this being resolved (at least on the present platform) and, in fact, is a big reason FCA was able to build a PHEV minivan in the first place, i.e., the space needed for a big battery was already there.

- Lack of trailer towing.
The issue here isn't so much the need for occasinal towing, but just having an OEM hitch for a bike rack. I guess the total cargo capacity of the PacHy is 1100 pounds so, technically, so long as one stays beneath that limit, it's safe.

- Lack of spare tire.
I don't know if they really needed to relocate the battery to the place where a compact spare tire is an option on the ICE. I'd almost be willing to bet it was intentional since eliminating the spare tire is both a cost and weight-saving measure on many new, non-PHEV vehicles.

- Inability to manually toggle between ICE and EV.
This one should be relatively easy to resolve. I don't know why it wasn't incorporated since I presume FCA researched and should have discovered this was a wanted feature on the first Volts (a PHEV with a very similar mode of operation). GM responded and subsequent Volts did, indeed, get the ICE/EV toggle.

These caveats aside, the estimated $2500 premium for the PacHy over the non-PHEV is in line with any other hybrid and, personally, seems worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I also found this really interesting interview session of about one hour in length from 12/2016 discussing the revolutionary changes that the PacHy brings to market.

AAH #359 ? Pacifica Goes Electric ? Autoline After Hours
Notice that two FCA executive/experts in the PacHy are interviewed as well as other industry folks:
"SPECIAL GUESTS:
01:25 - Kevin Mets, Chief Engineer, Pacifica Hybrid
13:09 - John Gibson, Global Chief Engineer, Electrified Powertrains, FCA
26:10 – PANEL DISCUSSION: Gary Vasilash, AD&P; Jean Jennings, Facebook.com/JeanKnowsCars; Anton Wahlman, Seeking Alpha; Alisa Priddle, Motor Trend"
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hybrid battery and components warranty:
One more clarification I found out after a little more warranty research. It is in your Pacifica Hybrid Warranty Information booklet.

Under 2.5, B: (summarized) the high voltage battery is warranted to the purchaser of the vehicle for either 10 year/150K miles, or 10 year/100K miles depending on if your State adopts the California ZEV regulations. I'm in WA State so the battery is covered for 10year/150K miles. Likely more than I would own the vehicle.

In addition to this in section 5 under Emission Warranty, their are a LOT of items that FCA covers for 10 years including specific to the PacHy "Hybrid Charging System; Hybrid Electric Cooling System; Hybrid Power Inverter System".
So in regards to folks that are concerned about the battery or hybrid components cost, I would think it probably isn't much of an issue for the average original owner out to those warranty limits.
 

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Hybrid battery and components warranty:
One more clarification I found out after a little more warranty research. It is in your Pacifica Hybrid Warranty Information booklet.

Under 2.5, B: (summarized) the high voltage battery is warranted to the purchaser of the vehicle for either 10 year/150K miles, or 10 year/100K miles depending on if your State adopts the California ZEV regulations. I'm in WA State so the battery is covered for 10year/150K miles. Likely more than I would own the vehicle.

In addition to this in section 5 under Emission Warranty, their are a LOT of items that FCA covers for 10 years including specific to the PacHy "Hybrid Charging System; Hybrid Electric Cooling System; Hybrid Power Inverter System".
So in regards to folks that are concerned about the battery or hybrid components cost, I would think it probably isn't much of an issue for the average original owner out to those warranty limits.
I've always wondered how the high voltage battery warranty works. Does the warranty only come into play with a total battery failure? Is it prorated? Lithium batteries lose capacity over time. What happens if the range drops to 15 or 20 miles after 8 years? Is there any warranty coverage? I expect that if you were trying to sell the PacHy after owning it for 8 years and near 100K miles, the value would be affected by whatever a replacement battery costs at the time. Or does it just become an ICE only van?
 

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I've always wondered how the high voltage battery warranty works. Does the warranty only come into play with a total battery failure? Is it prorated? Lithium batteries lose capacity over time. What happens if the range drops to 15 or 20 miles after 8 years? Is there any warranty coverage? I expect that if you were trying to sell the PacHy after owning it for 8 years and near 100K miles, the value would be affected by whatever a replacement battery costs at the time. Or does it just become an ICE only van?
Once the traction battery's useful life had expired (presumably out-of-warranty), if a reasonably priced replacement was not possible, one would hope that the 600 pound brick could be removed without too much difficulty or expense, and the vehicle used as a pure ICE since the engine would theoretically still be in very good shape due to somewhat limited operation.

In that regard, does the PacHy still retain the Stow N Go access port doors and compartments? It would be a nice feature to be able to use the battery's storage bays if it were removed permanently.
 

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Once the traction battery's useful life had expired (presumably out-of-warranty), if a reasonably priced replacement was not possible, one would hope that the 600 pound brick could be removed without too much difficulty or expense, and the vehicle used as a pure ICE since the engine would theoretically still be in very good shape due to somewhat limited operation.

In that regard, does the PacHy still retain the Stow N Go access port doors and compartments? It would be a nice feature to be able to use the battery's storage bays if it were removed permanently.
The Pacifica Hybrid is a complex integrated system. Numerous sensors and controls for the high voltage battery. I expect that if the battery was not there the control systems would not know what to do and would simply stop. There may come a time when someone develops a software/hardware hack but I would not count on it. The regenerative braking likely depends on the high voltage battery to act as the load.

I assume the battery compartment is a totally different setup than the stow-n-go compartments so removing the battery would not convert the space to an accessible storage area.
 
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