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What Does MPGe in Electric Cars Actually Mean?

It’s hot outside, and we have some hot looking cars!!!!!

Posted by Uncle Joes Cars and Trucks on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Say you are looking for a fuel-efficient Chevrolet in Spartanburg, SC, and come across two cars right next to each other. One is the hybrid called Chevrolet Malibu that has an EPA sticker of 46 MPG. The other is a Chevy Bolt. This one has an EPA of 119 MPGe. Is the Bolt better in fuel efficiency than the Malibu then? Extend this example to include the Ford Focus. The 2014 model of Focus had an EPA of 105 MPGe. With this information at hand, is the Bolt still the better choice?

These numbers can really become confusing when you are researching fuel-efficient used cars in Spartanburg. While you may understand the language of MPG, MPGe holds a different story altogether. To give you the answers to the above questions, you really cannot compare the Malibu with Bolt just on grounds of EPA. They house different powertrains. Between Bolt and Focus, however, the comparison holds and Focus is the better car. How? Let’s find out.

What does MPGe mean?

MPGe stands for Miles Per Gallon Equivalent. And it means exactly what it sounds like. The Environment Protection Agency or the EPA converts the electrical efficiency of EVs into an mpg-equivalent to help the US shoppers while researching their cars. On the EPA sticker of the Chevrolet Bolt, you will find another figure that is followed by the unit kilowatt-hours per 100 miles or kWh/100m. This is a better estimate of the fuel efficiency of EVs.

Since Focus turned out to be the better car, let us understand this new EPA unit with its example. The 105 MPGe rating typically converts into 34 kWh/100 miles. Or, the Focus will burn 34 kWh of electrical energy to run 100 miles. Simple enough? Now, the EPA converts this kWh to mpg by depending on the theory that 1 U.S. gallon of gasoline will produce the same amount of heat as 33.7 kWh of electricity. Going by that, if an EV can travel 100 miles with 33.7 kWh of electricity or 1 gallon of gasoline, then its EPA rating will stand at 100 MPGe.

Notice that the Ford Focus required a little over 33.7 kWh of electrical energy to run 100 miles. Hence, its EPA figure was more than 100 MPGe which suggests it requires more electrical energy to run the same distance. Come to the Bolt now. Its EPA of 119 MPGe says that it is less energy efficient than the Ford Focus.

Too complicated?

Remember just two things while shopping for electric used cars in Duncan.

1.You cannot compare the EPAs of electric vehicles with gasoline or hybrid.
2.The greater the MPGe figure, the worse the EV is.

That’s it. The basic understanding of MPGe will help you to remember why the above two arguments hold. Beyond that, look for the usual features in the best used car dealership.


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