ACT Expo 2018


Chrysler Claims the First Minivan Hybrid

December 2, 2016 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids, milestones, New Products by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Pacifica PHEV Fuel Economy Is Rated at 84 MPGe,
With 33 Miles on Battery Only, Assembly in Windsor

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is talking up the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the first-ever PHEV/plug-in hybrid electric vehicle minivan, crediting “e-Flite” EVT/electrically variable transmission technology for an all-electric range of 33 miles and a miles-per-gallon-equivalent fuel economy rating of 84.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is at right.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is at right.



The vehicle’s 84 MPGe/miles-per-gallon-equivalent fuel economy rating is a “new benchmark for minivans,” the manufacturer says. “No other minivan has ever come close to this rating.”

“At 84 MPGe, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid surpasses our initially stated performance,” FCA U.S. passenger car brands chief Tim Kuniskis said in a release.

‘The Most Fuel-Efficient Minivan Ever’

“These EPA test results paint a clear picture of the benefits our customers can expect from driving the most fuel-efficient minivan ever,” he said.

“Such performance firmly establishes the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient minivan of all time,” FCA says.

U.S. EPA testing established a total driving range rating of 566 miles for the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Dedicated Hybrid Minivan Team

“A large share of credit goes to the vehicle’s e-Flite dual-motor electrically variable transmission,” said FCA North America engine, powertrain and electrified propulsion head Bob Lee says in the announcement.

FCA U.S. claims the e-Flite EVT as an in-house innovation, “developed by a team of engineers assigned exclusively to the task of delivering powertrain efficiency within the functionality envelope customers expect from minivans.”

A Unique One-Way Clutch

Conventional electrification schemes, FCA says, employ one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor – “usually much larger” – to deliver torque to the wheels.

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with 16-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. The vehicle ‘pairs an innovative dual-motor eFlite electrically variable transmission with a specially modified version of the upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine that features an Atkinson cycle combustion system,’ Fiat Chrysler says. The 16 battery pack is positioned ‘under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row “Stow ‘n Go” seating.’

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with 16-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. The vehicle ‘pairs an innovative dual-motor eFlite electrically variable transmission with a specially modified version of the upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine that features an Atkinson cycle combustion system,’ Fiat Chrysler says. The 16 battery pack is positioned ‘under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row “Stow ‘n Go” seating.’

“The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions,” the company says.

“The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.”

Space Is Preserved

The new PHEV has a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area “as roomy as ever” with space for seven passengers. The standard Level 1 charger allows the battery to be charged in about 14 hours. An optional 240-volt Level 2 unit can reduce charging time to as little as two hours.

The new minivan is available for as low as $34,495 after available U.S. federal tax credits. The company says it’s invested $2.6 billion U.S. develop the Pacifica and the Pacifica Hybrid, with $744 million to add floor space, retool and upgrade equipment at the Windsor factory.

FCA says to that since the launch of minivan production in 1983, some 10 million of the more than 14.3 million vehicles sold to date have been built at the Windsor plant.

FCA said earlier this year that Canada’s Province of Ontario was supporting development of the Pacifica hybrid to the tune of $85.8 million (F&F, June 20).

Frank Dankovich is U.S. national fleet sales director for Fiat Chrysler.


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Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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