Electric Vehicle Story: Zach and Stephanie Fromm

Name: Zach & Stephanie Fromm
Vehicle (Model and Year): 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid
Purchased on: July of 2023 used and under the $25,000 threshold to access the $4,000 tax credit.

Electric Range: As a first year model and with 80,000 miles on it at the time of purchase, I assumed the battery would be degraded a bit, so I wasn’t surprised to find it at 26 miles in the summer and sub-20 in the winter (the heater takes a lot of electricity). It’s rated to get 30+ miles, and maybe the newer models with newer battery technology come closer to that.

How many miles do you drive annually? Of those, can you estimate how many have been all electric versus gas?
I’m not entirely sure how many miles we drive annually. On our most recent vacation we drove 200 highway miles and hadn’t charged the van before we left. Fifty-two of those miles ended up being electric, so the regeneration from braking and going down hill garnered us about 25% electric miles total. That’s pretty good! Our commute to town, daycare, groceries, etc., each day is about 30 miles, and the battery covers 90+% in mild driving conditions, which is awesome. Knowing the average American puts about 40 miles a day on their car, I feel like PHEVs need to get to that amount of range to really make sense.

Thinking back to when you first considered an EV, what were your biggest concerns? Did those concerns result in you opting for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) instead?
Knowing it was the first iteration of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, I was cautious about battery life and overall maintenance, but we are approaching 100k miles with no issues.

Given you’ve now had experience with a PHEV, do you think you’re more or less inclined to buy a pure electric vehicle (PEV) next time?
I like the idea of a PHEV for the longer hauls until the pure EV battery tech can achieve 300+ mile range consistently, but there are no pure electric minivan options yet, which is a bummer. We also have a Tesla Model Y and would love to give a full EV minivan a go if the range looked promising.

Are you a multi-vehicle household, and if so, is your second vehicle gas powered?
Our other car is a Tesla Y and our third vehicle is an old beat up truck we use for house chores.

Disregarding upfront purchase costs, has your cost of ownership been what you had expected?
We purchased used and under the $25,000 threshold to access the $4,000 tax credit. Having installed a 14-50 Nema 220v outlet in my garage, the Pacifica can recharge to 100% in less than 2 hours and we have been happy paying about $.07 kWh through MiEnergy’s EV metered option.

What’s been the biggest plus of driving an electric vehicle? And challenges?
I love the idea of using greener energy options to power a vehicle and believe that electric/hybrid options are the future. My hope is that we are in the infancy stages of EV/PHEV technology and all the downsides (of which I don’t feel there are many—I have 40k miles on my Tesla and outside of tire maintenance and replacing windshield wiper fluid have had zero other costs) are overcome through time. 

Have you used public charging? If so, what has that experience been like?
I have not used a public EV charger in the Pacifica to date, but anticipate no issues.

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