What is MPGe?


The new Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid recently received an EPA rating of up to 108 MPGe for city driving, making it America’s most fuel-efficient sedan.  You know that MPG stands for miles per gallon, but what is MPGe?  MPGe stands for miles per gallon equivalent and is being used by the EPA to report the fuel economy of 2013 models of alternative fuel vehicles, such as battery electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.  This new equivalency formula allows consumers to compare the electrical efficiency of these vehicles to the gasoline efficiency of conventional vehicles using gas engines.

The electrical energy stored in the battery pack of electric and hybrid vehicles is measured in kilowatt-hours, in the same way that gallons of gasoline are used as a unit of measurement for the amount of fuel stored in a gasoline tank.  The fuel efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles is measured by how many miles can be driven on one kilowatt hour of energy stored in the car’s battery.  The MPGe is determined by multiplying the miles per kilowatt-hour by 33.7, since there are 33.7 kilowatt-hours of energy in one gallon of gasoline.

The new EPA labels, even for traditional gas vehicles, now include a measurement of how much fuel or electricity it takes to drive 100 miles.  This energy consumed per mile metric, instead of miles per energy unit consumed, is common in other countries and is actually a better indicator of the impact your car has on your wallet and the environment.  This is because the amount of energy a vehicle consumes per mile starts to level off as the amount of miles that can be driven per unit of energy increases.  As electric vehicles become more popular, MPGe will be less relevant and range will be a more important factor. 

More information about MPGe can be found at www.fueleconomy.gov 

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  1. […] for emerging technologies like hybrids, electric cars, and natural gas vehicles.  Check out our previous blog post for more information on the fuel economy of alternative fuel vehicles, which is reported as MPGe. […]

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