2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Hits 75 MPH in EV Mode, Has Two Electric Motors

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 6 photos
Photo: Newspress
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
The Pacifica was one of the most talked about cars of the Detroit Auto Show. Chrysler probably built the best van on the market and added tech that will make it relevant for the modern family. We are talking about the Hybrid model, which is badly named considering that it's a plug-in hybrid.
Unlike a normal Prius, the Pacifica Hybrid has a large capacity battery that can be recharged. You can clearly see the port on the left front wing, right next to the mirror.

Because not all the details were available in Detroit, we searched high and low and found a few more. The guys at Green Car Reports recently interviewed Mike Duhaime, Chrysler’s global director for electrification, and found out why soccer moms are going eco.

We all know that Chrysler chose a 16 kWh battery with 30 miles of range because it needs to secure the full $7,500 federal tax credit. However, Duhaime says 29 miles is the average commute.

The Pacifica is not a slow poke either, as it can reach 75mph (120 km/h) in electric mode, provided that you don't get pedal-happy. That's more than many German luxury PHEVs, so we are impressed.

The battery has been installed around the middle of the car for better weight distribution. More specifically, they are packed into the area where the 2nd row “Stow ‘N’ Go” seats would have disappeared into the floor. Except for that space, all the rest of the van's cargo space is intact.

For a hybrid, the 3.6-liter V6 engine is pretty big. In fact, even the Range Rover has a smaller V6. Chrysler chose a bigger lump because it makes it more elastic and less noisy. That's why the Chevy Volt also upsized.

This 8-seater family van has not one but two electric motors, as Duhaime explains: “Effectively, one motor is on the engine, and the other is at the wheels. In pure-electric mode, the Pacifica Hybrid performs like an electric car with a very large motor; and then when the battery depletes, one motor is used to start the engine and act as a generator. When it runs as a hybrid, when the engine’s running, we use Motor A to balance the engine and put it in its most optimum range, and in parallel with Motor B we get the ratio, and the torque to the wheels.”

It's not rocket science, but between this and the vacuum cleaner in the trunk, Chrysler has proven that it's stopped cutting corners.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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