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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 think the issue of the ICE coming on is overblown. I think the majority of it running is due to freezing temperatures. I really haven't had problems with it where I live. There is a hybrid screen that tells you how much power is the electric motor and how much is the ICE. Just keep the electric motor under 80 kW and it will run in EV mode. I think you just have to get used to it. See if you get a long test drive.

I owned a Prius Prime before and do wish the PacHy drove in EV more like that. I think Volt owners will feel the same way.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I think the issue of the ICE coming on is overblown. I think the majority of it running is due to freezing temperatures. I really haven't had problems with it where I live. There is a hybrid screen that tells you how much power is the electric motor and how much is the ICE. Just keep the electric motor under 80 kW and it will run in EV mode. I think you just have to get used to it. See if you get a long test drive.

I owned a Prius Prime before and do wish the PacHy drove in EV more like that. I think Volt owners will feel the same way.
Thanks for the feedback, and impressive Fuelly stats btw. Your mpg is off the charts! I just worry it may be too difficult to replicate that here in Canada.
 

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We have about 30k electric miles. The ICE only comes on with residual charge when three things occur.
1) It's very cold outside, and the restive heaters in the front and back cannot keep up with the temp setting that is set. The computer uses the waste heat from the ICE to warm the cabin. 198 degree coolant does this rather quickly, then it shuts off for the duration until either temps drop, or charge is depleted.
2) You give it more throttle than the electric motor is capable of generating, so the ICE kicks in to keep you from getting rear ended, etc. You only have about 100hp from the electric drivetrain, but it feels like more because of all the torque. Asking for more, means the ICE can come online to make the other 178 or so.
3) The car has been in electric only for so long that it feels it needs to run the ICE to keep the fluids mixed, and gas fresh in the injectors. We can go a month without use of the ICE so have seen this a few times.

Other than those three things, ours only comes on when the battery is totally drained. Seems like I'd like to know the opposite, why can we not force ICE operation if we are going on a highway trip and save the battery miles for the end of the trip in city driving where it is more efficient. The van only wants to be and EV when charged.
 

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why can we not force ICE operation if we are going on a highway trip and save the battery miles for the end of the trip
Just floor it the whole way! :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Why can we not force ICE operation if we are going on a highway trip and save the battery miles for the end of the trip in city driving where it is more efficient.
Excellent feedback @floz ! That's another excellent suggestion, hybrid modes should include:
  • Auto (How it currently operates)
  • Hybrid (For best fuel economy/performance)
  • EV (Battery only)
  • Gas (Conserve battery)
Some other PHEVs of similar size with smaller batteries accomplishes just this (Ford Explorer, Volvo XC90, and Lincoln Aviator).
"Flooring it" would not have the desired effect as that would trigger hybrid mode therefore still depleting the battery, albeit somewhat slower.
 

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Excellent feedback @floz ! That's another excellent suggestion, hybrid modes should include:
  • Auto (How it currently operates)
  • Hybrid (For best fuel economy/performance)
  • EV (Battery only)
  • Gas (Conserve battery)
Some other PHEVs of similar size with smaller batteries accomplishes just this (Ford Explorer, Volvo XC90, and Lincoln Aviator).
"Flooring it" would not have the desired effect as that would trigger hybrid mode therefore still depleting the battery, albeit somewhat slower.
Why are there 2 identical threads on this one topic?

Anyway, it does the first 3 things you mention, seamlessly and automatically. As long as Chrysler continues their design philosophy, we'll never get a manual switch, though I would personally love it.

We have owners getting confused by the headrests and radio presets (including me at one point), imagine how many of them would cluelessly keep pressing the "Conserve Battery" button every time they drove?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Why are there 2 identical threads on this one topic?

Anyway, it does the first 3 things you mention, seamlessly and automatically. As long as Chrysler continues their design philosophy, we'll never get a manual switch, though I would personally love it.

We have owners getting confused by the headrests and radio presets (including me at one point), imagine how many of them would cluelessly keep pressing the "Conserve Battery" button every time they drove?
The first forum this topic was posted in (2017+ Pacifica PHEV Hybrid Maintenance And Service) is not a forum suited for design suggestions. I saw most folks there bringing up issues about the vehicle they own; I realized this immediately after posting and created a clone in this forum but forgot to delete the original. To my surprise, vehicle maintenance folks are just as polarized and opinionated about this topic! ?
Thank you for your reply, I'm well aware of how the vehicle currently operates. Please note every suggestion I made keeps the "seamless and automatic" design trait intact. I'm simply suggesting it becomes a default option (Auto), in addition to the other options we usually see in PHEVs as opposed to regular Hybrid vehicles.
Now a physical button/switch would suffice, but it doesn't have to be. These options can be easily integrated into the uConnect interface. Because software algorithms currently control the "seamless and automatic" operation, software overrides is all that would be required for this change. In fact, Chrysler can implement this idea in an OTA update, that's how simple it is.
To your last point, I don't think Chrysler is designing their vehicle for the lack-of-wit drivers (common as they are). Otherwise the gear shifter would not look like a volume control knob, all in the name of saving space on the dash.:ROFLMAO:
It's my hope that if enough of us (potential and current customers) bring these kinds of ideas up, they'll maybe get there someday. You may be right, maybe they'll never do it, but I still think it's worth a try.
 

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I would love to see a mode for running on gas, and charging the batteries. For example, the electric is used up, and I am driving on the highway, and know I will soon be doing a bunch of stop and go city driving. It would be nice to tell it to charge, so I will have electric for the stop and go.
 

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That would be a waste of energy. Its much more efficient to use the ICE when the battery is drained. It does seem to keep the battery at around 1%. Breaking will charge the battery. Often in stop and go there is enough energy in the battery to start electric from a standstill and then switch to ICE.
 

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In highway driving with the EV App running, you will see the batteries being changed when you are going down hill. It will use that going up the next hill or in stop and go traffic when you exit. I imagine that they manage to ICE very closely, dumping any excess energy into the batteries. I'd love to hear the engineers describe how it all works!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would love to see a mode for running on gas, and charging the batteries. For example, the electric is used up, and I am driving on the highway, and know I will soon be doing a bunch of stop and go city driving. It would be nice to tell it to charge, so I will have electric for the stop and go.
That would be a waste of energy. Its much more efficient to use the ICE when the battery is drained. It does seem to keep the battery at around 1%. Breaking will charge the battery. Often in stop and go there is enough energy in the battery to start electric from a standstill and then switch to ICE.
Personally I wouldn't have much use for a gas only mode, but I wouldn't knock against those wanting to have it, 'cause you never know when you might find application for it. Off the top of my head; suppose you run into an issue with your electric motor(s), wouldn't it be great to be able to completely turn them off until you can fix them so you don't risk exacerbating the damage or jeopardizing other components? What if you're on a track and want to test the performance of the vehicle with the ICE only? What if you live in a region where it's actually more economically sensible to buy gas than to plug in your vehicle because of the cost/availability of electricity (yes there are such places) but you still want some electric only driving from time to time?
Having the option would not be a "waste of energy" but rather endless possibilities, in fact it already exists in Toyota's upcoming RAV4 Prime, they're calling it "Charging Mode". And speaking of Toyota, the Hybrid Sienna will actually have an EV button! Given that it's not a PHEV but a traditional hybrid that's only going to be good for 1-2 miles of electric only driving, but at least the option is going to be there. C'mon Chrysler, get with the program!
 

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After 3 years of driving my PacHy, it almost always uses up the EV range first. As in, I don't ever recall it using the gas engine while I have charge on the batteries unless I floor the accelerator. So I don't see any need for an "electric mode" button... plus if your HV battery is depleted, the button wouldn't work.

I can see the argument to choose "ICE mode" for highway driving and save your EV range for city traffic, but I probably wouldn't pay extra for that.
 

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After 3 years of driving my PacHy, it almost always uses up the EV range first. As in, I don't ever recall it using the gas engine while I have charge on the batteries unless I floor the accelerator. So I don't see any need for an "electric mode" button... plus if your HV battery is depleted, the button wouldn't work.

I can see the argument to choose "ICE mode" for highway driving and save your EV range for city traffic, but I probably wouldn't pay extra for that.
In cold temperatures (below about 36F), the ICE always runs for some period of time. The idea of a button isn't always about using the battery first, sometimes you want to use the battery last. My commute is 4 miles of slower roads (good for electric) then 30 miles of highway (better for ICE/hybrid), followed by 10 miles of slower roads (better for battery). If I had it, I would disable forcing battery depletion during highway driving.
 

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I could see value in the ability to control when the battery is used, as @Vantastic describes.

Nirvana would be an automatic system that optimizes battery use based on your route combined with live traffic reports. Sprinkle in a little AI, and it could guess what route you will take based on your daily commute.

The only use case I can see for a charging mode if you there were some way to make use of the power at your destination, similar to what the Nikola truck is going to do; allowing power tool use at a job site. Its rather inefficient, as the ICE itself is only about 25 to 30% efficient, but not that much different from firing up a generator.
 

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considering a '21 Hybrid. from what it sounds like it will stay in EV mode unless HARD acceleration, very low battery, or cold temps? We really want a full EV but need 7+ seater and the Model X is too expensive. Most of our driving is around town, 20mi round trip tops. for that scenario it sounds like we will be in EV mode 90% of the time? We have good charging access in our garage so I am willing to be diligent about charging.
 

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considering a '21 Hybrid. from what it sounds like it will stay in EV mode unless HARD acceleration, very low battery, or cold temps? We really want a full EV but need 7+ seater and the Model X is too expensive. Most of our driving is around town, 20mi round trip tops. for that scenario it sounds like we will be in EV mode 90% of the time? We have good charging access in our garage so I am willing to be diligent about charging.
Sounds about right, and also when the engine hasn't ran after long period of time. Sometimes the engine will come on with medium acceleration as well. Especially when you are slowing down and then pushing on the accelerator.

Would you consider a new 2020 Hybrid Limited if you can get it for $10,000 less than a 2021?
 

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10k off a New one meaning I could get the tax credit in addition to that then possibly yes

Pricing is attractive now but ‘21s are a little more future proof from a tech standpoint and hoping the have fixed some of the reliability issues.
 
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