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Decoding Electric Car MPG

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in General

imageDecoding Electric Car MPG

How does the fuel economy rating of an electric car differ from gas vehicles? Forget MPG. Meet the kilowatt-hour, and learn why smaller is better.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • The article misses a major point, which is the total cost of ownership. An electric motor has no oil changes, etc. I would like to see an analysis that calculates typical maintenance of an internal combustion engine vs. an electric motor.
  • If the SI abbreviation for "meters" is "m" and the standard (Imperial unit) abbreviation for "miles" is "mi.", then shouldn't "kWh/100m" be interpreted as "kWh per 100 meters" and "kWh/100 mi." be used for "kWh per 100 miles"?
  • cecil9cecil9 Posts: 1
    So where does the efficiency of the power station and the transmission losses in the distribution cable fit in to these equivalent MPG numbers-plus transformer losse and battery losses
  • The calculation of MPGe is bogus. It is based on a faulty assumption and grossly overstates the MPGe. The EPA should know that heat content in gasoline is not the same as mechanical work at the drive shaft. Using the right conversion, the Leaf and Volt (using just battery) give about 26-28 MPGe for a gasoline -fueled vehicle.
  • kkirby1kkirby1 Posts: 1
    In order to objectively compare the efficiency of electric vehicles to gas burners to gage environmental benefits, such as generation of greenhouse gasses, etc., it is necessary to consider other factors, such as the energy of conversion, and how many times it has to be converted. For example, a power plant that generates electricity may only achieve about 30% to 40% efficiency in converting heat to electricity. There is also energy lost in transmission, and in conversion from electrical to chemical energy to charge a battery, and again in converting it back to electrical to mechanical energy to move the car. I would like to see and accounting of the total amount of fuel per gallon of an electrical car, considering all of the energy of conversion throughout the entire process, to a similar acccounting for an internal combustion engine. It seems there are more conversions necessary to power an EV than to power a gas burning vehicle, and if so, when all efficiencies in the process are considered, EVs may not be nearly as efficient as is being reported simply as kWh per mile or miles per kWh.
  • kkirby1 said:

    It seems there are more conversions necessary to power an EV than to power a gas burning vehicle, and if so, when all efficiencies in the process are considered, EVs may not be nearly as efficient as is being reported simply as kWh per mile or miles per kWh.

    If we are going to factor in these, then you have to factor in the energy cost to get oil out of the ground, the transportation cost of getting the crude oil to a refinery, the energy cost of refining the oil into gasoline, and the transportation cost of getting the gasoline to the gas stations.
  • LensilvaLensilva Posts: 1
    EVs do not yet pay a road use tax, which in Florida amounts to about 22% of the fuel cost. I'm sure that will change one day, but it must be part of the equation.
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