Yes, you can get 500 MPG out of a hybrid minivan, but…
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In this video, we take a 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan up to the top of Loveland Pass in Colorado. The goal? To see if we can get from the summit, at 11,990 feet above sea level, back to our office in Boulder on as little fuel as possible. Of course, that means leaning as much as we can on the electric motors and 16 kWh battery pack in the Pacifica Hybrid. Will it make the 77-mile trip without using any fuel? Nathan finds out on a silly, but not entirely irrelevant, road trip.
Here are the important figures. The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is supposed to manage 32 all-electric miles out of that battery pack. If you charge it up every night then, you should no problem making it to work and back if you have a short to moderate commute. When the electric motors — yes, there are two of them — deplete the battery pack, the EPA estimates you’ll get 30 mpg on the regular 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. While there are two electric motors, they only help the engine drive the front wheels.
How can you possibly get that many miles out of the battery?
For this particular challenge, Nathan uses gravity to his advantage. More specifically, gravity and regenerative braking, to keep the battery topped off. Never mind the fact that Andre towed the van to the top of Loveland Pass using a 2019 Ram 3500 Limited with a 6.7-liter Cummins I-6 diesel engine and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. We wanted to see how the van would perform given it had a full tank of fuel and a full charge at the start of the challenge.
Over the course of the nearly 80 miles, we tested out exactly how well the van runs on a mostly downhill run on I-70 and on two-lane highways up to Boulder. Now, the EPA rates the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid at 82 MPGe. That means, using all the available electricity, you should manage 82 miles for one gallon of fuel in which you were able to use the electric motors. How did we actually manage, since we had several dozens of miles of downhill stretches?
The minivan actually achieved a staggering result, as did the Ram Heavy Duty that towed it, actually. Ultimately, it went 78 miles the equivalent of two shots (2 ounces) of unleaded. Check out the video above to see more of the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and how it performed. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more on the Pacifica Hybrid, and TFLtruck.com for more on the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty!