Name: Ying Wu
Location: Davis, CA
Year/make/model: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Type: Plug-in hybrid
Range: 33 miles (battery only); 570 (battery + gas)
Time owned: 1 year
*When new, at time of model release.
What made you decide to go electric and how did you decide what car to get?
We (my husband Ryan Stevenson and I) commute daily into Sacramento for work and wanted to decrease money spent on gas and also decrease our carbon footprint. We also wanted a minivan to accommodate our children, but the fuel economy is generally less on minivans given their large size, so that is what led us to consider an electric/hybrid minivan. The Chrysler Pacifica is the first plug-in electric hybrid minivan ever made.
How has the cost of purchasing and owning your EV compared to the cost of purchasing and owning a conventional car?
We were deciding between the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Pacifica. The federal and state rebate on the latter greatly reduced the price difference between the conventional car and the EV, and the long-term savings through special electric rates at home through PG&E made the investment worthwhile.
What have been the biggest challenges of going electric?
The hardest part is finding more electric chargers, but we have noticed increasing numbers of charging stations in many places including shopping centers, work, and other public parking areas. Some chargers are even free to use.
What are the biggest misconceptions of going electric?
The biggest misconception is that you may have less power in acceleration or more mechanical problems. We have not encountered either of these issues.
Describe one of the farthest/coolest/most ambitious trips you’ve ever taken in your EV.
We recently had a fantastic family vacation driving down to Monterey/Santa Cruz in our electric/hybrid minivan with our two toddlers. One hotel we stayed in even had free charging stations!
Do you have any good stories about your experience as a EV owner?
We love our electric hybrid minivan so much that we have given her a name because she is a part of our little family. Her name is Khaleesi (yes, we are Game of Thrones fans!). Our three-year old refers to her as a living being, often asking “Where is Khaleesi? Is she waiting for us?”
What is the number-one thing you think could be done to encourage more people to go hybrid/electric?
We need to have more free or low-cost charging stations available all over. This would help significantly in encouraging more EV purchases.