In searching the internet for pricing information on the new Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan from Chrysler, I keep coming across an article about a rumored $29k price (after tax breaks). Unfortunately, that article was written by me. And when it comes to cars, I really don't know what I am talking about.
Now Chrysler has finally announced pricing for this vehicle, and it didn't end up quite as low as some ill informed bloggers had suggested. Still, more reputable sources like Autoblog are now confirming a $43k price for the base trim, which translates to $35k after federal tax breaks—and a little less if you live in states like California where there are further rewards for doing the right thing.
That means the hybrid model—which boasts 30 miles of all electric range and which some reviewers have reported getting 28-30mpg when driving on gas—is going to end up costing similar amounts to its lower-level trim ICE counterparts. Even with the low gas prices we're seeing today, that's going to put the total cost of ownership significantly lower for the hybrid model.
Of course, how long we'll have federal incentives for plug-in cars. But right now, I can't imagine this vehicle won't sell.
Last time I wrote about it, there were plenty of commenters who pointed out that hybrid or not, it's still a giant tank. And they are right. But we live in a society which seems to enjoy driving around in giant tanks. And we live in a world that needs to cut emissions fast. I, for one, welcome the arrival of a tank that'll do most of your day-to-day driving without requiring the tiniest dollop of gas, and which can haul seven people comfortably. Yes, one day I hope that all American cities are bike-friendly, walkable and generally devoid of oversized vehicles. In the meantime, however, it's the largest vehicles that we most quickly need to electrify.
For more details on its specs and performance, check out Wired's review here. Oh, and one other interesting point of note for those of us who follow electrified transportation: Chrysler is deliberately choosing to call this a "hybrid". It seems the general public is still too confused about what a plug-in hybrid might mean...