Chrysler touts Pacifica Plug-in minivan's lower emissions

First US hybrid minivan will go on sale in March.

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Put the words "Chrysler" and "minivan" together, and the concept of lower greenhouse-gas emissions may not immediately come to mind – especially given today's news about FCA sister brands Ram and Jeep. Among mass-market automakers, Chrysler and its sister companies (namely Dodge and Ram) have long lagged its competitors in fuel economy, with little in the way of drivetrain electrification. Now, though, Fiat Chrysler says it's taking steps to make some green-vehicle progress via its new Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid minivan.

Namely, the automaker says the minivan, which can go 33 miles on electric power alone, generates 31 percent less emissions than previous-generation Pacifica, and 24 percent less than the 2017 model-year gas-powered variant. The Pacifica Plug-in, which will be the first hybrid minivan to be sold in the US, has a fuel-economy rating of 84 miles per gallon equivalent, and can go as far as 566 miles on a full tank and full electric charge. That full charge takes about two hours with a 240-volt charger, and 14 hours from a standard, 110-volt outlet.

That means that over the lifecycle of the vehicle (estimated at 120,000 miles), the plug-in minivan, which will compete against models such as the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey, may cut emissions by 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide relative to the gas-powered version. That is the equivalent to the annual emissions of about 22 US households, or, as Chrysler put it, 14 commercial flights to Los Angeles from Detroit.

Chrysler is pricing the minivan at about $43,000 (or about $35,000 once the $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles kicks in) and will start selling the model by the end of March. Take a look at Autoblog's First Drive impressions here.

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