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What Is MPGe: Understanding MPGe Meaning

Updated: Jul 9


Deciphering MPGe (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent) is crucial for anyone considering the switch to an electric vehicle. This metric allows consumers to compare the energy efficiency of electric cars with traditional gasoline vehicles, providing a clear picture of their performance and cost-effectiveness. It is a helpful topic for clean energy contractors to understand so they can clearly explain it to customers.

Let’s demystify the topic of MPGe, understand why this information is helpful, and MPGe meaning.

What Is MPGe?

MPGe, MGG e or Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, is a metric that compares the energy efficiency of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to traditional gasoline-powered cars. It measures how far an electric car can travel on the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline, standardized as 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity.

MPGe allows consumers to easily compare different types of vehicles by providing a common metric for EV efficiency, helping them understand the relative cost of energy consumption and the environmental impact of their choices. This standardization simplifies the decision-making process for those considering an electric vehicle so they can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

How Is MPGe Calculated?

MPGe is calculated by comparing the energy content of gasoline to the energy used by an electric vehicle. One gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. To determine MPGe, the distance an electric vehicle can travel on 33.7 kWh is measured.

For example, if an electric car uses 34 kWh to travel 100 miles, its MPGe would be calculated as follows: (100 miles / 34 kWh) * 33.7 kWh per gallon, which equals approximately 99 MPGe.

MPG Vs. MPGe: What’s The Real Difference?

Understanding the differences between MPG and MPGe is essential for evaluating the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of traditional gasoline versus electric and hybrid vehicles.

Miles Per Gallon (MPG)

This measures how many miles a gasoline-powered vehicle can travel on one gallon of fuel. It is commonly used for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and provides a clear metric for fuel efficiency. The calculation is straightforward: it is derived from dividing the miles driven by the gallons of gasoline consumed.


This metric compares the energy efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles to that of gasoline-powered vehicles. This measure is particularly useful for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), as it provides a standardized comparison across different types of vehicles. MPGe is calculated by measuring how far an EV can travel on the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline, which is standardized as 33.7 kilowatt-hours.


The key differences between MPG and MPGe are in their respective energy sources and purposes. While MPG relates to gasoline, MPGe relates to electricity. MPG provides a direct measure of fuel efficiency for gasoline vehicles, whereas MPGe allows consumers to compare the efficiency of electric vehicles to gasoline vehicles using a common energy baseline.

This comparison helps potential buyers understand the cost and environmental implications of driving electric vehicles compared to traditional cars, aiding in making informed choices about vehicle purchases.

MPGe Ratings for Popular Electric Cars in 2024

According to EPA data, here are the MPGe ratings for some of the top electric cars in 2024.

Electric Car or PHEV

MPGe City

MPGe Highway

BMW i4 eDrive35



Ford F-150 Lightning



Ford Mustang Mach-E



Hyundai Ioniq 5



Hyundai Ioniq 6



Hyundai Kona Electric



Kia EV6



Kia Niro Electric



Lucid Air Pure RWD



Nissan LEAF



Polestar 2



Rivian R1S



Tesla Model 3



Tesla Model S



Tesla Model Y



Volkswagen ID.4



Tesla Model 3 MPG e

Real-World Vs. Rated MPGe

Like with gas-powered cars, efficiency can vary depending on driving conditions and other factors.

MPGe Ratings by the EPA

The EPA conducts standardized tests to determine and rate the MPGe of electric vehicles. These tests involve simulations of city and highway driving cycles, which consider factors like speed, acceleration, and temperature conditions to provide consistent and comparable MPGe ratings across different EV models. The EPA's rigorous testing procedures ensure that consumers have reliable information to evaluate the energy efficiency of EVs before making purchasing or leasing decisions.

Variability in Real-World Conditions

EPA ratings provide a standardized measure of MPGe, but drivers' actual MPGe may vary in real-world conditions. This variability can be attributed to factors such as individual driving habits, traffic patterns, weather conditions, and terrain.

For example, aggressive driving, frequent use of accessories like air conditioning or heating, and driving in hilly terrain can reduce an EV's efficiency and result in lower MPGe than the EPA rating suggests. Likewise, an EV's range drops in cold weather. Understanding these variables and their impact on real-world MPGe can help consumers make informed decisions and manage expectations regarding their EV's energy efficiency and performance.

Factors Impacting Actual MPGe

  • Aggressive acceleration and braking

  • Maintaining high speeds for extended periods

  • Temperature extremes (hot or cold weather)

  • Wind conditions

  • Altitude and elevation changes

  • Driving uphill or downhill

  • Road conditions (smooth vs. rough surfaces)

  • Tire pressure

  • State of battery health and efficiency

  • Air conditioning or heating usage

  • Other electrical accessories (e.g., lights, entertainment systems)

  • Carrying additional weight or passengers

  • Stop-and-go traffic vs. steady cruising

  • Freeway driving vs. city driving

F150 MPGe


Read on to gain answers to many common questions about MPGe and electric cars.

What is the MPGe meaning in electric vehicles?

MPGe stands for Miles Per Gallon Equivalent. It is a metric used to compare the energy efficiency of EVs) and plug-in hybrids to traditional gasoline-powered cars. It measures how far an electric car can travel on the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. MPGe provides a common ground for evaluating the efficiency of different vehicle types by converting electricity consumption into a format similar to miles per gallon.

Is MPGe only important for fully electric vehicles?

This metric is only used for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and PHEVs. Therefore, hybrids that are not plug-ins and gas-powered cars do not have an MPGe rating, only an MPG rating.

What EVs have the best MPGe rating?

Some of the vehicles with the highest MPGe values for 2024 are the Tesla Model 3, Lucid Air, Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Kona Electric, Tesla Model S, Toyota bZ4X, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Toyota Prius PHEV, and Kia EV6. These models have at least 100 MPGe and are some of the most efficient alternative fuel vehicles. Conversely, some models with a lower MPGe are the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, and Rivian R1S.

What is the MPGe of a Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 MGPe varies a bit depending on some variables, such as the exact model and the model year. According to the EPA, the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD has a combined MPGe of 130, with city MPGe of 137 and highway MPGe of 124. However, the Tesla Model 3 MPGe may differ for different model years and variations of the Tesla Model 3.

Does MPGe vary depending on city or highway miles?

Yes, vehicles have different values for city and highway MGPe, and these numbers vary. Unlike most gas-powered cars, EVs commonly operate more efficiently in the city than on highways. Therefore, it is common for models to display an MPGe that is 10 to 30 higher for city driving than the highway figure.

Why do electric cars have a higher MPGe than gas-powered cars?

EVs typically have a higher MPGe than gas-powered cars due to their superior energy conversion efficiency. According to the EPA, EVs convert over 77% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels, while conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 12%–30% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels. This means that a larger percentage of the energy input for electric vehicles is effectively utilized to drive the vehicle, resulting in higher MPGe values than traditional gasoline vehicles.

What is combined MPGe?

Combined MPGe is a measure that represents the average energy efficiency of an EV across both city and highway driving conditions. The EPA calculates it and combines the MPGe ratings from standardized tests that simulate urban (city) driving with frequent stops and slower speeds, and highway driving with higher speeds and fewer stops. The combined MPGe gives consumers a more comprehensive view of an EV's overall efficiency, reflecting its performance across a mix of driving environments.

How does MPGe impact vehicle operating costs?

More efficient vehicles use fewer kWh of electricity to get from point A to point B. The higher the MPGe, the lower the cost of operating the vehicle when all other factors are equal. However, the cost per kWh of electricity significantly impacts operating expenses, and electric rates vary widely across the United States. Therefore, the cost of operating a Tesla Model 3 in Hawaii or California, with high electricity rates, could be greater than driving a less-efficient BMW i4 in Washington or Wyoming, where rates are much lower.

MGPe Is A Useful Efficiency Metric For Electric Cars

When EV shoppers want to compare the efficiency of various vehicles, MPGe is a helpful figure. The EPA introduced MPGe to help car shoppers make more informed purchases, and a higher value indicates a more efficient vehicle. Therefore, a car with a higher MPGe will be cheaper to operate when all other factors are equal and travel farther from each kWh of charge.

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