MPGe vs MPG | The Differences Explained

Are you considering an electric car but worried about how much it will cost you to drive? If so, you’ve probably come across the terms miles per gallon (MPG) and miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) while researching the costs of driving an EV. But what are the differences between MPGe and MPG? 

The difference between MPGe and MPG is that MPGe measures the efficiency of an electric vehicle, whereas MPG measures the fuel economy of a regular combustion engine. MPGe values are generally higher than MPGs because EVs are more energy efficient. 

Read on to learn more about the differences between MPGe and MPG and why MPGe is generally much higher than MPG. 

Is MPGe the Same as MPG?

MPGe and MPG are not the same. The main difference between them is that MPG measures the fuel efficiency of a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE), whereas MPGe measures the energy efficiency of a vehicle powered by electricity stored in batteries. 

The more technical difference is mostly mathematical: MPG is measured as distance traveled per unit of fuel energy, whereas MPGe is measured as distance traveled per unit of electricity consumed. 

Here are more differences between MPGe and MPG:

How To Measure MPGe and MPG

As a rule of thumb, the standard for measuring the distance a car can travel on a gallon of gasoline is miles per gallon (MPG). 

In other words, the formula for MPG is gallons of gasoline consumed divided by the total number of miles traveled. 

On the other hand, the standard for electric vehicles is miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). The formula for MPGe is kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed / total number of miles traveled.

Note: Both measurements are expressed in “miles”, but due to the very different ways electric vehicles and internal combustion cars consume energy, one should not be traded for another, as they’re proportional to the energy stored in gasoline and electricity. In general, 1 gallon (3.8 L) = 33.7kWh of electricity.

Mpge-Vs-Mpg-The-Differences-Explained
MPGe is the energy efficiency of an electric vehicle and is more useful when comparing different electric cars. On the other hand, MPG is the fuel economy of internal combustion engine vehicles and is more helpful in comparing multiple internal combustion engine vehicles.
Photo: @hdoan via Twenty20

MPGe vs MPG: Application Areas

One of the most critical factors that determine a car’s efficiency is its fuel economy ratings regardless of whether it runs on gasoline or electricity. The higher this rating, the more miles you can travel on a gallon of gas (MPG) or kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. 

With that in mind, MPG and MPGe ratings are often confused because they both express vehicle efficiency on a scale of 1 to 100. However, while MPG is used for ICE vehicles that run on gasoline, the MPGe rating is reserved exclusively for EVs and hybrids. 

This video describes the differences between MPGe and MPG in more detail: 

MPGe vs MPG: Why Is MPGe So High?

MPGe is usually higher than MPG since electric motors in EVs are more efficient in converting heat energy to kinetic energy. Also, features like regenerative braking and onboard power converters improve the overall energy efficiency of EVs. 

On average, an electric vehicle has a higher fuel economy rating than ICE vehicles because the former consumes less energy per unit of distance traveled. That’s because an ICE engine must convert heat into kinetic energy using oil as its primary fuel

It’s a highly inefficient process that requires a considerable amount of energy input to get the necessary power output. On the other hand, an electric motor can convert stored electricity into kinetic energy directly without any loss of efficiency.

White-Tesla-On-A-Road-Trip

By the way, I wrote an In-Depth Guide about How Far Can Electric Cars Go? Feel free to educate yourself with some helpful info!

In addition, the batteries used in EVs are more efficient than the internal combustion engines used in ICE vehicles. For example, the batteries in an EV have an average energy efficiency rating of 73%, whereas traditional gasoline engines typically average 13%. 

Other factors that increase the MPGe rating of EVs include regenerative braking and onboard power converters. These devices help convert kinetic energy into electricity and direct it back to the batteries, where it can be reused after slowing down or stopping. Electric motors and inverters work very efficiently at slow speeds to save a lot of kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost. 

Are Electric Cars Better for the Environment?

In general, electric cars are better for the environment than ICE vehicles. Electric vehicles offer significant energy and environmental benefits, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy demands, and reduced impacts on local air quality. 

In addition, EVs have no tailpipe emissions, whereas internal combustion vehicles release pollutants into the air as they burn gasoline. Furthermore, EVs don’t require oil and other precious natural resources to operate. 

Still, it’s important to note that EVs also have some drawbacks regarding environmental impacts, such as the embedded energy of battery manufacturing and disposal/recycling of old batteries. 

Plus, major electricity grids in different parts of the world still rely on fossil fuels to generate the power needed to charge EVs. Thus, if many drivers switch to EVs, it won’t be beneficial to the environment unless enough renewable energy is generated to power these cars. 

That said, I used the U.S. Department of Energy’s Tailpipe Emissions Calculator to make the table below:

ModelYearGreenhouse Gas Emissions (Assuming Average U.S. Electricity Mix)Average Greenhouse Gas Emissions by a New Gasoline Vehicle
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD2022120 g/mi. (75 g/km)410 g/mi. (255 g/km)
Tesla Model S2022130 g/mi. (81 g/km)410 g/mi. (255 g/km)
Tesla Model X2022160 g/mi. (99 g/km)410 g/mi. (255 g/km)
Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD2022130 g/mi. (81 g/km)410 g/mi. (255 g/km)
This table compares the amount of greenhouse gas emissions some of the popular EVs emit with those a new gasoline vehicle emits.

Note: I used Los Angeles, California (zip code 90011) as my location. The results will vary depending on how electricity is produced in your area. 

How To Improve a Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

Now that you understand the difference between MPGe and MPG, it’s time to look at some of the ways you can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Whether you drive an EV or an ICE vehicle, this will help you reduce your carbon footprint and generally increase your energy efficiency. 

Here are 5 ways you can increase a vehicle’s fuel efficiency: 

  • Perform regular maintenance. 
  • Use a light touch on the pedal. 
  • Avoid short and sharp stops and starts. 
  • Brake early, brake smoothly. 
  • Eliminate unnecessary weight from the vehicle’s trunk and interior. 

Here are more details on these tips:

1. Perform Regular Maintenance

Routine vehicle maintenance is key to ensuring that your vehicle runs efficiently for as long as possible. It includes: 

  • Checking and adjusting tire pressure regularly 
  • Replacing air filters
  • Keeping up with oil changes 

Also, following the manual for any vehicle-specific routine maintenance is critical. For example, many automakers recommend that drivers change their spark plugs every year. Ignoring these guidelines by neglecting tune-ups can have adverse effects on fuel efficiency. 

Tip: Suppose you drive Tesla Model 3 or Model Y and need quality air filters. In that case, l recommend this Fette Filter True HEPA Upgraded Cabin Air Filter from Amazon.com. It comes with activated carbon to filter bad odor, as well as a HEPA filter to keep airborne particles out of your car. 

2. Use a Light Touch on the Pedal

Accelerating too quickly can make your engine work harder to keep up with vehicle speed. It can affect energy efficiency, especially if you’re accelerating uphill. It also increases the number of emissions your vehicle produces. 

Therefore, it would be best to avoid unnecessary and sudden bursts of acceleration. Instead, accelerate steadily and gradually (slowly). 

3. Avoid Short and Sharp Stops and Starts

Unnecessary stops and starts can affect fuel efficiency by making your vehicle work harder to keep moving. It increases the load on your engine each time you want to get up to speed and the amount of time until your car is fully warmed up. 

Instead, you should avoid sudden starts and stops whenever possible. Leave a bit of extra room between your vehicle and the one in front. It will allow for smoother acceleration and deceleration. 

4. Brake Early, Brake Smoothly

You should brake as early as possible and do it smoothly. Braking is an energy-intensive activity for any vehicle. It’s amplified even further if your car has to come to a stop than if you had simply stopped earlier and gradually. 

If possible, you should try entering intersections at a slow speed. This technique will help reduce the amount of energy required for braking. 

Even if you’re driving an EV, it’s crucial to brake smoothly. While it may be hard to tell when the battery begins and ends recharging, braking at a normal pace will make your brakes last longer and give them a chance to cool down between uses. 

5. Eliminate Unnecessary Weight From the Vehicle’s Trunk

The weight of your vehicle can affect how much energy is required to power it. That’s because the amount of kinetic energy (the energy something gets by its motion) is related to mass and velocity. The heavier an object, the more kinetic energy it will contain at any particular speed. 

Therefore, lighter objects can reach higher speeds in a shorter time. That’s why racing cars have parts made from lightweight materials, such as carbon fiber and aluminum alloys, that reduce weight without sacrificing durability. 

As a rule of thumb, the more space you can eliminate in your vehicle’s trunk and interior, you’ll have more fuel efficiency. You should also consider whether you need to bring every piece of luggage on your trip. 

Final Thoughts

In general, MPGe is often higher than MPG because electric vehicles are inherently more efficient. In addition, when it comes to environmental impact, all things being equal, EVs are better because they don’t burn any fuel and thus produce no exhaust emissions.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.