Chrysler Pacifica’s Self-Driving Concept Car at CES
FCA has been a little reluctant to join in on the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon. Design and construction of EVs can be a little on the pricey side, but in recent years the costs have started to drop. Not only that, but auto regulations are getting more strict in an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. This makes EVs and hybrids the next step in auto manufacturing, and to test the waters, FCA is debuting a Chrysler Pacifica EV at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.
Saying that this is the first EV vehicle to come from FCA is a bit of an oversight. Their first known EV is the Fiat 500e, priced at $31,800 and only sold in California and Oregon. Its limited market could be why FCA decided to really get their feet wet with a renowned vehicle that is selling like hot cakes! The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica made heads turn, and the Pacifica Hybrid made some noise – will the FCA use the Pacifica EV to make a splash?
At this time, the Chrysler Pacifica EV is purely a concept. For those that don’t know, that’s a dirty word to car enthusiasts. Every time an auto brand announces a “concept” it’s the same as a parent telling their child “maybe.” It’s usually a “no” with the saving grace of possibility. At this time, Chrysler and FCA have no intentions to produce or sell another EV.
It’s a shame, because the Pacifica Hybrid has earned a lot of great reception. The technology alone is constantly highlighted as some of the best-to-date, and its engine landed a spot on the Wards Auto 10 Best Engines list. With Millennials and Generation Z are starting to enter the auto market, and when growing up with wireless electronics, the same is expected in automobiles. Plus, these two generations are the most ecologically conscious and aware than their predecessors.
Regardless, here’s what we know about the concept. The seating capacity is six; the door pillar will be removed and sliding doors will replace the front and rear doors (see picture to the right). Under the hood will be a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery – that’s 40 more kilowatt-hours than the average car battery today. The driving range is estimated at 250 miles, and remember, that’s on electricity only. Clean-burning fuel for over 200 miles!
Oh, and here’s the real kicker – it’s going to be a semi-autonomous driving vehicle. Known as the “Chrysler Portal”, this EV is a little Pacifica, a little crossover, and very fitting for the current automatic world. An autonomous vehicle fits with the Pacifica’s automatic exterior features, and the name is fitting. A portal transfers passengers from point A to point B without taking a single step, so it’s a nice play on words.
The Chrysler Portal is classified as semi-autonomous, meaning driver intervention is possible, but upgrading to a fully autonomous model is available. Some neat technology features will also be made available since a driver is not needed, such as a passenger intercom system, an interior camera for selfies and group shots, an emergency vehicle alert system, and facial recognition integrated seat memory and vehicle communication systems.
It’s a shame this is only a concept, because it sounds like a really neat venture. If you’re interested in what made the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica so influential in the first place, we have some in our inventory.