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Discussion Starter #1
In Vermont, almost a month into owning a '18 Pacifica Hybrid and having a tough time understanding how the van operates. Yes, it has been cold and maybe that is the sole problem but we're at 19mpg, the EV motor isn't engaging at all such as yesterday on a 20+ minute drive & we're keeping the van EV battery topped off by keeping it plugged in when not in use...three dealers within an hour and I don't believe anyone really understands this van and how it is supposed to operate. Looking for some guidance on how to best assess that it is doing what it is supposed to be doing under these winter driving conditions. Thank you.
 

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The key here is the 7 degree outside temp. Also the 82 degree interior setting. If the battery had to do all the work to get the interior to 82 degrees, it would take most or all of the battery's capacity to do it. An electric heater is really almost a dead short.
Chrysler knows this, and programmed the van to heat the cabin (big volume, btw) with the gas engine. Once it is up to close to the set temp (82), it will start to use the electric more, and the gas less.
Now, 20 minute trips are about how long it is going to take to get all this done.
Had two Prius, and they were the same way. Physics is physics. At -20F, that prius engine would run from the get go until it and the cabin were to set temps. Then, it would use electric as much as it could, until either the charge went too low, or the cabin needed a boost, then the engine would run again.
Seems normal from my hybrid experience: Mileage drops in winter like a rock.
Relax
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for looking more closely than I did, Lipster. 7F outside, 82F setpoint inside, heating seats and steering wheel. Hard work. Asked my Wife before sending along the post and she said she had it at 70F...still hard work on a 7F day.

ILOVERMONT.
 

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Yep, it's the cold ambient plus climate control. The van also has a need to condition the battery to keep in optimal temp range. The hybrid has 3 coolant loops, engine / HVAC (front & rear) / motive battery, and if any of them need heat the ICE will be turned on to provide it.

If you can get the van warmed up to where the engine isn't needed to maintain the temp it will shut off the ICE until the coolant temps drop enough that more heat is needed for the battery / climate control. This will happen more in warmer temps and if you're OK with lowering climate control temps.

Also helpful is turning off the rear HVAC if you don't have passengers back there. The rear HVAC is a standalone unit linked to the main one and can use a bunch of power if it's not needed.
 

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... the EV motor isn't engaging at all such as yesterday on a 20+ minute drive ...
That right there sounds like what I encountered with the "Fuel and Oil Refresh Mode" (FORM). Normally, over the first 5-10 minutes or so of a drive, the ICE needs to run enough to warm the cabin in frigid temperatures. But twice so far this winter, my car has entered FORM mode and behaves as the quoted text describes.... 'EV doesn't engage at all'. So while it is possible a very high cabin heat setting will keep the ICE engaged, it's worth checking your messages in your dash view to see if your vehicle has entered this mode. If so, you can find other (very long) topics discussing FORM issues.
 
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