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Would you like to see an option for the driver to select an electric only mode?

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Discussion Starter #1
Something I've seen in many other PHEVs is the option for the driver to select an electric only mode so that the vehicle is forced to use it's rechargeable batteries until it's depleted. I've expected that to be an update for the 2021 model year but it doesn't seem like that's the case.
I just don't see any reason why Chrysler can't implement such an option into the uConnect interface (if not a physical button).
I currently own an Odyssey, and as reliable as she is, I would definitely hop on the Chrysler bandwagon if I could guarantee a certain amount of electric only driving on my numerous short trips.
I've extensively researched and love the idea of the PacHy, but with so many folks complaining that it unnecessarily fires up the ICE even with significant charge remaining, I'm skeptical.
The bottom line is: If the vehicle is a PHEV then the driver should be able to toggle that electric only driving, otherwise it's just no different from a regular hybrid.
Agree? Disagree? Am I asking for too much?
 

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I would love a switch, but it's never going to happen. The mantra by the design team was "seamless and automatic" or something to that effect. Switches and overrides aren't seamless nor automatic.

With that being said, for numerous short trips it does default to electric only mode until it's depleted. The only times the engine kicks in is if you gun the accelerator, go fast on the highway, go up real steep hills or if it's cold out, which all required the extra oomph of the engine. It does a good job at being seamless; set it and forget it.

Would love for them to come out with a special Pacifica E edition or something for geeks, where you could toggle engine vs battery, which would be useful when going on the highway in gas, then getting onto local roads with electric. Other things to add would be one pedal driving, shutoff charging after certain percentage, settable regen braking, settable cruise acceleration, settable automatic stopping distance, etc, but none of those are seamless nor automatic and would probably wreak havoc with the typical owners.
 
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Not likely to happen. The Pacifica Hybrid was designed to appeal to the masses, not to appeal to EV drivers, so it operates a lot like a standard hybrid vehicle.

However, mine generally stays in electric mode until the battery is depleted on short daily trips. I exceed the EV range twice a week on average, so a tank of gasoline lasts around 6-8 weeks. I usually find that I've got about 3 times as many "electric" miles as I have "hybrid" miles... until I take a very long trip with no opportunity to charge.
 

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The Electric motors can deliver less than 130HP- enough for everyday driving, but not for emergencies or other corner cases. This is the reason why the gas engine can't be manually disabled.
If you are careful with the gas pedal you can drive for thousands of miles in the pure electric mode, (in the mild weather).
 

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In cold weather area, the gaz engine always start (when temperature fall under 32dF or 0dC) to heat the cabin. It's take around 5-10min to have the coolant hot enough to turn off ICE. An EV mode would be usefull for short trip (going to grocery or job)
 

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The threshold seems to be around 37F, lower if the heat is off. It could be done to protect the battery. Cold hurts its performance, and adding a 7kw extra draw doesn't help.
 

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Compared to their poor efficiency for propulsion, ICEs are very efficient heaters. It makes sense to me that they would elect to use gas for heating rather than the much more limited battery energy which is more useful for moving the vehicle.
 
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Not likely to happen. The Pacifica Hybrid was designed to appeal to the masses, not to appeal to EV drivers, so it operates a lot like a standard hybrid vehicle.

However, mine generally stays in electric mode until the battery is depleted on short daily trips. I exceed the EV range twice a week on average, so a tank of gasoline lasts around 6-8 weeks. I usually find that I've got about 3 times as many "electric" miles as I have "hybrid" miles... until I take a very long trip with no opportunity to charge.
"The Pacifica Hybrid was designed to appeal to the masses" - Not gonna lie, that was the loudest laugh I've had all week! =D
But on a serious note, about how much miles of driving do you do in those 6-8 weeks?
 

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Okay... maybe not "the masses" but they did not design it for EV enthusiasts. My husband's car is a BEV, and I use mainly electric except for long trips. I don't have steep hills or extreme cold in my area, so the gas engine usually doesn't kick on until I've exhausted the battery. But we do take the Pacifica on road trips because we can load up everything we need and make minimal stops for fuel. (I've done the same trips in a Tesla and although I probably ought to get out of the car for the 20-30 minutes that charging takes instead of driving straight through, I rarely want to be on the road an extra hour or two for those stops.)

I drive my Pacifica 200-250 miles in a typical week and fill up somewhere between 1200-1600 miles (I stopped tracking after the first year). I charge late at night (time-of-use rates) and stay within the EV range on most weekdays. However, 2-3 days a week I have a 50+ mile round trip with no charging at my destination so I'm driving home on the ICE.
 

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"The Pacifica Hybrid was designed to appeal to the masses" - Not gonna lie, that was the loudest laugh I've had all week! =D
But on a serious note, about how much miles of driving do you do in those 6-8 weeks?
In a sense that the design target was a typical minivan owner, who doesn't want to be concerned with the way the vehicle operates and wouldn't notice differences between the gas and PHEV versions.
MyR/T commute is 38 miles. In the mild weather I can make it on a single charge, I have to charge a bit at work when its cold. In theory, I could do this 200 miles weeks forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Some excellent responses, for the most part, I agree. Though, if I may, I wouldn't exactly call myself the "typical minivan owner" or "EV enthusiast" (being 26, single, with no kids) but I do have a very busy and active lifestyle. Besides school, work and gym, I do carpool a lot. So naturally I'm hauling lots of stuff and people on a regular basis, a minivan is perfect for that. One of the fundamental marketing strategy fails a company can make is assuming potential customers belong to a single demographic.
So to be clear the suggestion I posed is not a change in how the PacHy currently operates but rather an additional option(s) that more align with what one expects from a PHEV eg:
Hybrid modes:
  • Auto (How it currently operates)
  • Hybrid (For best fuel economy/performance)
  • EV (Battery only)
  • Gas (Conserve battery)

There are many PHEVs of similar size with smaller batteries that accomplishes just this (Ford Explorer, Volvo XC90, Lincoln Aviator)...
And yeah, I know what naysayers will say "but those vehicles are three row SUVs with higher price points". True, but apples to apples: Toyota is coming with their hybrid Sienna soon, and they already got AWD. So if they implement a hybrid powertrain on top of that and do it properly, (something Chrysler is still yet to offer) you best believe myself and many others will flock to them.
Chrysler, make your next move wisely.
 
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