Fact #659: January 24, 2011
Fuel Economy Ratings for Vehicles Operating on Electricity
The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a new methodology for determining how fuel economy information will be displayed on the window sticker of a vehicle that operates on electricity. The fuel economy will be displayed in miles per gallon equivalent (MPGequivalent), so that consumers can compare the pure electric operating efficiency against traditional vehicles in the same class. The vehicle's range on electricity will also be displayed on the sticker. The calculation of MPGequivalent is based on 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kW-hrs) of electricity being equivalent to one gallon of gasoline, or 33.7kW-hrs = 1 MPGequivalent. The all-electric Nissan Leaf and the plug-in hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volt are the first two vehicles to use the new window sticker format. The Volt also has a fuel economy for driving in gasoline-only mode, which is measured in the familiar miles per gallon (MPG).
Example Window Stickers for Vehicles Operating on Electricity
The Nissan Leaf EPA Window Sticker shows 99 MPGequivalent (combined city/highway) and a range of 73 miles. The Chevy Volt EPA Window Sticker shows 93 MPGequivalent (combined city/highway) in all electric mode and 37 MPG in gas only mode. The range of the Chevy Volt is 35 miles on electricity and 379 miles total (combining gasoline and electric range).
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency