The Basics of Calculating MPGe

November 12, 2013 by

Silver Fusion EnergiFor drivers in the market for a new vehicle, efficiency is often a top priority. When browsing a vehicle showroom, you will see EPA estimates for fuel economy clearly posted on each window sticker. For hybrid, plug-in hybrid (like the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi,) hydrogen cell, compressed natural gas, and electric vehicles, drivers will see MPGe numbers. This figure estimates how many miles a vehicle can travel using the same amount of energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. Calculating this number can be a little bit confusing, but here is a basic overview.

How to Calculate MPGe

Before diving into the process of calculating MPGe, it is important to know how MPG is determined. MPG is exactly what it sounds like–the average amount of miles a vehicle will run on per one gallon of gasoline. On the low side, some performance vehicles and large SUVs get between 10 and 12 MPG. On the other hand, top hybrids can get up to 50 MPG and some plug-in models reach even higher.

Figuring out MPGe is not quite that easy unless you happen to be a math whiz or have a background in physics. The problem is that alternative fuel engines cannot be measured for efficiency by using the same methods as gasoline-powered cars. That’s why experts make relative measurements by using the same energy output as a gallon of gasoline.

One gallon of gasoline delivers an energy output of 115,000 BTUs. This number is equivalent to the electrical output of 33.7 kilowatts per hour. For example, the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi gets approximately 34 kWh, which means that it uses almost the same amount of energy contained in one gallon of gasoline per 100 miles. That makes its EPA combined estimated rating 100 MPGe.

MPGe and Cost

Unfortunately with MPGe numbers, it is difficult to factor in how much it costs to recharge a vehicle’s power source. That number can fluctuate based on the cost of electricity and the amount of electricity needed to charge the car. To help drivers calculate the cost, the EPA has added a number on vehicle labels that show how much energy is needed to travel 100 miles.

Visit River View Ford Today

If you would like to learn more about MPGe or about sustainable vehicle options like the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi, be sure to stop by River View Ford in Oswego. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

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