Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Arrives, 700 Patient Customers Get Bonus

6 months ago by Jay Cole 39

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (seen here from the LA Auto Show in November) gets surprise all-electric range bump – now 33 miles (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Chrysler took a bit of a winding road in getting its 33 mile, plug-in extended range Pacifica Hybrid minivan to market after starting production in Windsor, Ontario on November 28th – but the company has indeed begun shipments to dealers this week, as promised earlier by the company.

“As with all launches, but particularly in the case of this technically advanced vehicle, we are taking great care to ensure that the Pacifica Hybrid comes off the line with the highest quality possible. We will only introduce a vehicle when we are fully satisfied the vehicle meets or exceeds customer expectations.”

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid nets Some 84 MPGe according to the EPA

Fiat spokeswoman Angela Bianchi said the company is giving extra priority to patient customers already in the queue, and is offering a “gesture of goodwill” for the ~2 month delay.

Chrysler Pacific Hybrid – definitely not your average PHEV

Specifically, those who had ordered the Pacifica Hybrid (which yes, is a terrible name for a plug-in), have the choice of receiving a $500 gift card, or a free Level 2 charger – so not a bad gesture at all.

One that, in our opinion, is more than adequate considering the wait one normally expects these days on just about any new electric vehicle offering.

As for demand for the electrified minivan in the US, some 700 back-l0gged orders are in Chrysler’s system before even the first copy has been made available to be seen at dealers.  A fact that underlines American’s want something “non-compact” to plug-in, and that the Pacifica Hybrid will be a popular selling model.

How popular?  We will just have to wait and see.

Detroit Free Press, Hat tip to Jeff D!

 

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39 responses to "Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Arrives, 700 Patient Customers Get Bonus"

  1. trackdaze says:

    If history serves correct with plugin offerings of existing vehicles lines like audi a3 then chrysler should easily see approximately 10% of pacifica sales to be the plugin.

    Likely to be much more given price.

    If its less then chrysler and its dealers are sandbagging.

    1. Scramjett says:

      Given the Mitsu Outlander PHEV outsells its gas model in Europe, that’s not unreasonable.

      1. Efried says:

        Interesting, so Fiat has some argument rebranding the Pacifica and selling it in Europe?

  2. If they could make 700 a Week, they could easily sell them, just between the USA & Canada!

  3. pjwood1 says:

    Qualifies for the full $7,500 tax-credit, and it comes in black.

    1. Phr≡d says:

      heheh, Yep — I foresee a hot-rod Cole version arriving in the future..

  4. ANewHope says:

    I think this is a good step. Electrification/plug-in of a bigger fuel guzzler that is already fairly expensive makes sense vs say doing a plug in of a Honda Fit.

    Although I still do question how large the luxury Minivan segment is. At the stage of my life when I owned a Grand Caravan, budgetary constraints dictated low cost for maximum space.

    1. Tom says:

      Large market. Chrysler/Dodge still hold about a 45% market share (approx) of a 1 million vehicle/year (approx) minivan market. The lion’s share of those vans are priced north of $35,000 and can be well north of $50,000. The PHEV version is priced well to basically cost nothing extra. Looks to start at about $35,000 (after $7500 rebate) which is dead center of the regular Pacific mid grade price structure. So there’s no ‘payback period’ at all frankly. This is the same strategy Prius Prime, Kia Niro PHEV, and Hyundai Ioniq PHEV are following. It’s a winning strategy sure to sell large quantities of these things. Yes vans these days can be status symbols. Someone purchasing a $50,000

    2. Tom says:

      Would also like to point out that nearly 100% of private party purchasers will have kids and have a garage or car port where they live that they can plug into. The size of the battery does not require any kind of special charger. Standard wall outlet just fine. Public charging infrastructure is a completely moot point.

  5. MTN Ranger says:

    It’s a no-brainer decision for anyone needing (can afford) a premium minivan. Getting the full tax credit amount due to the size of the battery pack is smart on Fiatsler’s part. I wish more PHEVs would do that.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Sadly, it doesn’t qualify for the full new NY rebate, instead only qualifying for $1100 out of a potential $2000.

      NYSERDA kind of messed up with their rebate program, the incentives is based on the range of the plug-in rather than the battery size.

      The reality is that these larger vehicles will offset MORE emissions with the same battery size of a smaller vehicle, but they are penalized for not having the same overall range with respect to the NYSERDA rebate.

      NYSERDA should’ve done like the feds did, and base the rebate on battery size, rather than all-electric range.

      1. Doofus says:

        At least your state has a rebate program!

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Finally and barely. Also, it only took them the full year they had mandated to implement it. 12 months to figure out how to give people a rebate. Politics at its finest. 😉

  6. Cwuwlaw says:

    Why is Hybrid a terrible name compared to PHEV. Seems more straight forward from a marketing to the masses perspective. I hope all future hybrids add a plug, making the four word PHEV designation unnecessary. Does Chrysler have any non plug hybrids to create confusion?

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Because hybrid is too obtuse. It’s analogous to not mentioning hybrid at all for non plug-in hybrids.

      Hybrid as it is used today implies a battery-assisted vehicle without a plug. It is an obsolete technology next to plug-ins.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Its hybrid mpg rating is good so it can stand by itself as a hybrid.

        Given this is FCA’s only hybrid they’re quite possibly at the point where any hybrid they produce will have a plug anyway

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      Yeah, I actually like the name Pacifica Hybrid. Since it is a mini-van, buyers come in with the knowledge that it can drive on gas and it is much more efficient.

      There is less potential confusion from first time Plug-In buyers immediately dismissing it because they do not understand that when the battery is out of charge they can still drive. This could be a potential learning opportunity for a public who still knows next to nothing about Plug-In vehicles.

  7. ClarksonCote says:

    This is such a promising offering. I hope it sells well. Too bad they only call it a “hybrid” which seems like an epic marketing fail.

    1. BenG says:

      It’s an interesting marketing approach. I don’t think it will hurt sales.

      People who want a plug will find out about the Pacifica. People who don’t specifically want a plug might end up buying the Pacifica Hybrid just because of price, options, and fuel economy, and then become EV converted when they discover the luxury of pure electric.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        True, it could help in that respect.

  8. Jay Wrenching says:

    Been waiting for a long time now for this van. The long delay raises suspicions of unreliability, like the sticking brakes on my town and country which no one could diagnose properly,or, the bursting water pump,or, the burnt wheel bearings,or, the freon leaking AC,or, the burnt out door lock motors…..other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play ?

    1. CCIE says:

      I hope it does well, but it is an FCA product with all of the reliability issues that that implies.

      Maybe it will force others to make larger EVs & PHEVs. GM would sell a ton of properly priced plug-in Equinoxes. But, they don’t want to risk the cash-cow that the ICE version currently is.

      1. BenG says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t touch an FCA product because of reliability problems. But, I do congratulate them on putting together an attractive package in the Pacifica Hybrid. I hope they sell a lot, and that reliability is okay on them.

  9. Delta says:

    Still can’t see the Pacifica Hybrid on Chrysler Canada website…

      1. Delta says:

        So basically 56K or more – plus tax – in Canada minus 14K Ontario rebate. They are pricing it to sell in Ontario – but it will be hard to sell in the rest of Canada.

        Still – it is the only vehicle anywhere near its class – so it has no real competitors. I hope it does well.

        And since it is made in Ontario – it is a Win Wynne.

  10. Anderlan says:

    Doesn’t it ship with a combo L1/L2 charger? Why do I have to keep asking this easy question that every US OEM but Tesla keeps getting WRONG WRONG WRONG?

    1. CLIVE says:

      All EV’s come with Level 1 chargers, not level 2.

      Now you can stop asking.

      1. vin says:

        Actually the Volvo XC90 comes with a combo L1/L2 EVSE:

        http://insideevs.com/2016-volvo-xc90-t8-plug-hybrid-include-free-aerovironment-turbocord/

        Keep asking, Anderlan. It baffles me that a Turbocord that retails for $379 can’t be included with a new EV, instead of a relabeled L1 that dealers will charge $500 or more to replace.

  11. MarkT says:

    I think this will sell well compared to the standard models. With the $7500 fed credit, the costs is equivalent to a well equipped non plug-in. Plus it gets far better fuel economy in gas mode.

    1. DL says:

      Unfortunately, not quite. Not for OTD price, not it doesnt work. it would seem so if one compares MSRP, but reality differs.

      On the Pac Limited (with more options than PacHy Platinum has, btw) one can get about 7k off with manufacturer’s incentives and TDMs (such as Sam’s Club’s one), and then also negotiate down and under the invoice with a little effort.

      OTH for the PacHy there’s no manufacturer’s incentives/ certificates at all and there’s just ~$150 gap between MSRP and invoice, plus supply/demand is quite different, so perhaps another at least 1k or so in negotiating power w.r.t. MSRP mark itself, all other things being equal.

      Plus of course tax differences can reach into 1k area in my high tax county (almost 10% sales tax).

      Also charge installation cost if needed, but I am not counting that as it is not needed in 100% of situations.

      Once one does the math, even without charger installation costs 7.5k does not cover the OTD difference, nor makes it worthwhile. One still needs quite a bit more cash to narrow the gap (like 1.5k more from CA + .5k from PGE), then it becomes roughly comparable on OTD.

      But still, PHEV ends up slightly more OTD-expensive while having quite a list of missing features in comparison (for example, 0 tow rating and no memory sits are my favorites on the missing feature list).

  12. MikeR says:

    I am a chrysler mechanic. Is there really a market for these vans given the dollar amount to purchase? You’re going to have to drive these things a LONG time to recover what you spent in fuel savings. Bad Idea! Extremely over complicated computer and cooling systems don’t give me that warm fuzzy reliable feeling.

    1. DL says:

      I found ICE mechanics to be sceptical about PHEVs and BEVs, so this does not surprise me.

      I can only point out that added complexity comes from the battery and its thermal regulation. My understanding this is done by LG Chem, same manufacturer that does it for Volt, Spark EV 15/16, and now Bolt. So this has been done quite a while.

      As for transmission, it is in theory actually has far less moving parts than their 9 speed automatic, the one that has been one of the more prominent source of complaints. In theory should be less prone to the drivetrain problems (not to mention much smoother).

      I bought first year of Spark EV and wish all GM cars were just as reliable and as service-free as Spark so i am willing to give that one a try too (I am one of the 700 orders).

  13. mick says:

    Gets 33 miles on electric battery only for a 16Kw battery charge. My CA Kwh is .25 which means it will cost .25 x 16 to fully charge battery to go 33 miles. That is $4 for 33 miles, much more expensive than current gas prices for this vehicle which gets 33 mph as a hybrid. In CA, it would be more economical to not plug in the car and drive it as a hybrid. Still not a bad deal with the federal and state credits totaling $10,000.

    1. DL says:

      PGE EVA schedule currently is $.13 per kw at night, or need to switch to some other TOD plan.

      Also, we perhaps should compare same segment, afaik there are no other minivans rated at 33mpg but rather like 25 combined (the gas Pac).

      But i agree, absolute numbers in gas savings (if any) are probably not the reason to do that. But there are other costs not directly charged on vehicle (like proven link between chidlren’s asthma incidence rate and proximity to highways).

      So i would agree in the sense that these gas savings, while they may add up, is not enough to really motivate while buying a $50k-ish-OTD vehicle.

      Perhaps even on the environmental merits this vehicle is not good enough. But it is the demonstrated incentive for the industry to move there is perhaps something that may make it a bit more worthwhile.

  14. CVVH says:

    Are both the Premium and Platinum trims being delivered, or just the Platinum? I really don’t want the UConnect theater option to the point I would almost consider paying to have it removed.

    1. DL says:

      Afaik orders have been open for the Premium trim as well for some time now. Now that the order backlog has been worked thru, hopefully the build time for new orders should not be that much. However if you wanted to pick one without waiting, only Platinum trim vins are available in already built status at some (perhaps very few) dealers.

  15. Just_Chris says:

    It’s interesting to see all the cost and complexity arguments coming out again. These were debated over and over again for the volt 1.0, in particular vs the Cruze but also volt vs the elr. I think there was a much larger difference in the GM models but the arguments seem very similar.

    In the end, volt drivers are fanatical about the volt and very happy to pay a premium for the technology, same goes for the outlander crowd in the uk. The premium you pay for phev technology seldom pays off but a phev is a much better car than a normal hybrid or ICE. the cars are much better to drive, particularly in common driving conditions like heavy traffic. In addition, going to a petrol station is not something that most people enjoy with a phev you end up doing that a whole load less – a massive plus for people who are time poor.

    As for “complexity” and reliability phev’s do just fine I can’t think of a single phev on sale today that is getting slated for its reliability with many suggesting the lower load on the engine is a far bigger plus than any additional maintenance for the electrical components.

    IMO if you can afford it the PHEV option, where available, it is well worth the extra money. The arguments about value are all dependent on a persons needs and wants but in general it appears those who have made the switch never go back.