Understanding Hybrids and the New Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and they are here to stay. In the next few months, Hollywood Chrysler Jeep will be getting our first new hybrid model — the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The Pacifica Hybrid will be the first hybrid minivan ever.
Why the increase in hybrids? They benefit both drivers and the environment. Hybrids produce lower fuel emissions because they run on both battery and gas, not just gas. That means the driver saves money on gas and reduces their impact on the environment..
Despite the increase in interest for hybrid vehicles, many people may still not fully understand them, how they work, and the terminology that comes with them. We are here to clear some of that up and introduce you to the soon-to-arrive 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid!
Common Hybrid Terms
Since hybrids are a new type of car, there’s some new terminology. Nothing too complicated, but important to know when you are shopping for a hybrid vehicle.
- MPGe: This term is pretty simple, it means miles per gallon equivalent. This term is used for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) — because both of those vehicles can operate only on electricity. PHEVs can also operate on only the gas engine and/or a combination of the battery and gas. So, there are three numbers when used for the fuel economy of a PHEV — total distance on electric power, MPGe when the engine and battery work together and MPG when the vehicle is only operating with the gas engine.
- Battery terms: There are two terms that automakers may use to refer to a hybrid vehicle’s battery — volts and kWh (kilowatt-hour.) Voltage is the potential energy in a battery. Kilowatt-Hour is a unit used to describe how much electricity is “put into” a battery. The Pacifica’s 16 kWh battery pack has enough energy to power the car for 30 miles.
- Regenerative braking: Regenerative braking is a system that recycles the energy used when braking the car to re-charge the hybrid’s battery. This helps to keep the car’s battery charged and extends the mileage the car can use the battery for power without stopping at a charging station.
- One-pedal system: A one pedal system is very similar to regenerative braking in that it stores the energy from one system and stores it to reuse later. Except instead of braking the energy simply comes from taking your foot off of the gas. Basically, when you remove your foot from the gas the car slows down almost as if you are braking, and stores the energy for later.
The The Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) definition of a hybrid vehicle is “two or more energy storage systems both of which must provide propulsion power, either together or independently.”
There are a variety of types of hybrid runs, which is why some have a longer range than others. The Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid. Plug-in hybrids have larger batteries than regular hybrids and the larger battery allows the vehicle to travel farther on pure electricity, but the battery needs to be recharged as well.
The all-new 2017 Hybrid Pacifica
The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is powered by a combination of a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, a 16 kWh battery and a dual-motor electrically variable transmission (EVT). Together the engine and transmission can produce up to an impressive 260 horsepower. Basically this hybrid minivan uses a one-way clutch which allows the motor (usually used as a generator) to deliver torque to the wheels. The van can detect when the battery’s energy is running low, and then switch to both gas and electric driving. The power to the wheels comes from the electric drive system or the specifically made V6 engine when needed.
As mentioned, if the 16 kWh battery pack is fully charged, the Pacifica can travel up to 30 miles on electricity — meaning no gas and no emissions! In the city, the Pacifica Hybrid has a fuel economy of 80 MPGe.
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