If you’re looking into the possibility of buying an electric car, you probably want to know how far you can drive it before having to stop for a charge. This is where adding the acronym “MPGe” to your car-shopping vocabulary will come in handy.

To better understand MPGe, it’s helpful to understand how it relates to its gasoline-related counterpart, MPG.

Miles Per Gallon

Most people are familiar with the term “MPG,” which stands for “Miles Per Gallon.” MPG simply determines the number of miles a car can travel on a gallon of gasoline. It’s a useful metric with which to differentiate the efficiency among gas-powered cars.

Car dealerships post the MPG for city driving (stop-and-go traffic) and highway traffic (high speeds without stops). A car with an MPG meets your budget and your kind of driving is a match made in commuter heaven.

Miles Per Gallon Equivalent

An electric car’s MPGe, or “Miles Per Gallon Equivalent,” was formulated by the Environmental Protection Agency to help consumers compare mileage efficiency among cars that don’t run on gasoline, such as battery-operated cars, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen-fuel-cell cars. Because they occasionally run on gasoline — like their all-gas cousins — hybrid cars do not use MPGe.

How MPGe is Calculated

According to the EPA, one gallon of gasoline contains 115,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of energy. That’s equivalent to 33.7 kilowatt-hours of energy. A kilowatt-hour is a standard unit of measurement used by industry experts when describing the size of a battery.

The main idea is that now you can compare the mileage of electric cars to the mileage of combustion engine cars in a meaningful way. Knowing this will help empower you, as the buyer, to make the best decision you can while shopping for a car.

Along with the MPGe statistic on an electric car, there’s another number you’ll find helpful. It’s “Kilowatts Per 100 Miles.” As the name suggests, this number is a calculation of how many kilowatts the car uses to travel 100 miles.

While MPGe will vary depending on your speed, the Kilowatts-Per-100-miles figure will tell you how much electricity your car uses to travel 100 miles, regardless of speed. That way you have an even better idea how efficient your car is at using energy.

Not only will this help you take factors like efficiency, refueling trips and types of driving into consideration, but you can also tell how much you could potentially save in a year by driving an electric car instead of one that runs on gasoline.

Once you know that you can save on gas every year, it becomes easy to find out how much money you will save over the life of an electric car as opposed to that of a car that runs on gasoline. This is helpful because many electric cars cost more than their gasoline counterparts.

Choosing the Right Car for You

Whether you’re hoping to buy a traditional gas car or a modern electric car — or, you can’t decide between the two, AutoGravity can help you find and finance the car that fits your needs.


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