What Is MPGe?

Every piece of business equipment comes with a cost. From initial purchase, to ongoing maintenance, to insurance, to unexpected repairs, many different expenses go into operating and supporting the machinery that helps you grow your business. And when it comes to trucks, vans, cars, and the other vehicles that make up your fleet, fuel is a major cost that you don’t want to overlook. 

But sometimes, these costs can be difficult to get a clear handle on — particularly when dealing with newer, alternative-fuel vehicle options. Simply put, electric vehicles are a new option for many business owners, and unlike traditional cars and trucks, understanding fuel costs for electric vehicles takes more than just seeing the current posted price per gallon at the local gas station.

For those companies that field electric or hybrid vehicles, the MPGe fuel-efficiency metric may provide a solution. Here, we discuss MPGe: what it stands for, how to calculate it, and which vehicles provide the best MPGe for your business buck. 

MPGe Meaning

MPGe stands for Miles Per Gallon of Gasoline Equivalent. MPGe is a metric for measuring the fuel efficiency of alternative fuel vehicles such as electric, hybrid, and hydrogen-powered cars. 

Because these alternative fuel vehicles do not use conventional liquid fuel, measuring the energy output per “gallon” doesn’t make much sense. To provide vehicle owners and operators with an accurate measurement of fuel efficiency regardless of fuel type, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established MPGe as a formal energy efficiency metric for electric vehicles. The reasoning here is that because gasoline-powered vehicles have been so widely used for so long, the most effective way to represent the efficiency of electric vehicles is by comparing and contrasting MPGe to the more-traditional miles per gallon (MPG).

How Is MPGe Calculated? MPGe to MPG

MPGe expresses the distance a vehicle can travel on the electrical equivalent of a single gallon of gasoline. To do this, it takes the approximate energy released from burning a gallon of gasoline within a combustion engine (33.7 kilowatt-hours). So, if an electric car is capable of driving 100 miles on 33.7 kWh, then it can be said to get 100 MPGe. 

Electric vehicles with no internal combustion engine can have their total fuel efficiency represented by the MPGe metric. Hybrid vehicles that include a gas engine in addition to an electric battery, on the other hand, need to be able to account for both. In these cases, the fuel efficiency will depend on whether the vehicle is driving on electric power or more-traditional gasoline. These vehicles measure efficiency using MPGe until the electrical charge within the battery is depleted, after which they switch over to the liquid-fuel engine and begin measuring efficiency in MPG.

Is MPGe the Same as Range?

MPGe is an important metric in determining how far an electric car can travel on a single charge, but it is not the same as the range of the car. This is because the battery capacity likewise plays a vital role in the distance that the vehicle can go before needing to be recharged.

In other words, MPGe provides insight into how many miles a driver will get per 33.7 KWh, but it doesn’t provide a clear picture of the miles one can expect from a fully-charged battery. Often the range is the most relevant number to new drivers of electric cars, and the one that will help them overcome the dreaded range anxiety (the fear of running out of power before being able to find a charging station to replenish the battery).

When purchasing an electric vehicle for your fleet, make sure that range enters the discussion before you commit to anything — getting 100 or more MPGe won’t be of much use if the battery doesn’t have enough capacity to get you to your destination.

MPGe vs. MPG

100 MPGe may sound like a lot, and it is. But most electric vehicles can achieve this fairly easily, with some boasting nearly 140 MPGe in optimal conditions. This metric helps illustrate the increased fuel efficiency of electric vehicles and other non-liquid-fuel alternatives. By way of comparison, the average fuel efficiency for gasoline-powered cars is fewer than 25 mph, and even the most fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicles tend to top out at about 44 mpg.

But while the fuel-efficiency benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles are difficult to deny, MPGe is not always the best way to determine value or cost. For one thing, there’s the cost of the electricity that powers the vehicle to consider, and that can be a hard number to pin down. The question then is how much does the electricity cost per mile?

To better represent the actual value of electric vehicles, the EPA works with an additional metric called kilowatt hours per 100 miles (kWh/100 mi). This rate details fuel consumption, providing information regarding how many kWh the vehicle would use to travel 100 miles. This relates directly to the amount of electricity used, making it a more relevant solution to determining cost. A lower kWh/100 mi indicates lower operational costs — the lower the number, the better the value.

Electric Vehicles with the Best MPGe

MPGe is a reliable metric for understanding fuel efficiency in electric and hybrid vehicles, but which vehicles stand out as the leaders in this particular area? The EPA and the US Department of Energy provide a clear ranking:

Rank Vehicle Combined City/Highway MPGe
1 2023 Tesla Model 3 RWD 132
2 2023 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 131
3 2023 Tesla Model Y AWD 123
4 2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 122
5 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV 120
  2023 Hyundai Kona Electric 120
  2023 Tesla Model S 120
6 2023 Toyota bZ4X 119
7 2023 Kia EV6 Long Range RWD 117
  2023 Kia EV6 Standard Range RWD 117
8 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV 115
9 2023 Toyota bZ4X LIMITED 114
10 2023 Kia Niro Electric 113
  2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD 113

Although trucks are generally larger and thus require more energy to move, the top electric trucks are still extremely fuel efficient, ranking anywhere from 115 – 125 combined MPGe.

MPGe: The Final Word

Although most modern fleets rely on conventional fuel vehicles, the reality is that electric-truck fleets are on the horizon. This is good news for organizations that want to reduce their fuel costs (and the cost their fleets have on the environment). As such, understanding the various metrics for measuring fuel efficiency, fuel consumption, and operational costs of electric and hybrid equipment is more important than ever. 

Ready to learn more about outfitting and managing fleet vehicles? Contact Summit Fleet today!