Let's face it, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating (MPGe) is a good estimate, but an estimate nonetheless. Battery-powered electric cars don't burn gasoline, so a gasoline-based rating is always going to be a theoretical exercise in energy conversion.
Still, the EPA needs some way to compare electric, hybrid, and gasoline-burning vehicles. Such ratings benefit government agencies and auto companies, as well as consumers who would otherwise struggle to compare kilowatt-hours to gallons consumed. The EPA reaches its hybrid and electric vehicle figures by running test cycles, determining how many kilowatt-hours are burned, converting it to BTU/mile, and then dividing that number by the BTUs in a gallon of gasoline. The result is the MPGe figure, which will undoubtedly be a source of technical arguments for years to come.
Click on the image below to see 12 of the top fuel-efficient vehicles, as determined by the MPGe rating system.
Ford Transit Connect EV -- 62 MPGe (combined city + highway): Ford's Transit Connect is a utility van with a top speed of 75 mph and an all-electric driving range of 80 miles. (Source: Ford Motor Co.)
Wow. I was really impressed by the growing array of choices and pretty laudable metrics these cars boost in terms of efficiency. I hadn't even heard of many of the cars that made this list. Are some of the models just sold in overseas markets and not in the United States?
A better measure would be a cost of "fuel" per mile based on a stated cost of fuel. By fuel I am talking gasoline and electricity. Since both vary by location, all you would have to do is compare your price to the standard to get your cost per mile. This is what is important anyway. The measures we do have were born of a time when cost was not as big an issue. The question was more how many far can I go before I need to fill up.
I did notice that most of the vehicles in your slide show were small vehicles. There are a couple of mid-sized cars, and that is good. It is in the mid and large size vehicle that we really need to cut comsumption.
Tesla Motors plans to roll out a “compelling, affordable electric car” that will sell for about half the price of its high-profile Model S by the end of 2016, company chairman Elon Musk said last week.
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