Miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe or MPGge) is a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed. MPGe is used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compare energy consumption of alternative fuel vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles and other advanced technology vehicles with the fuel economy of conventional internal combustion vehicles expressed as miles per US gallon.
The MPGe metric was introduced in November 2010 by EPA in the Monroney label of the Nissan Leaf electric car and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The ratings are based on EPA's formula, in which 33.7 kilowatt hours of electricity is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline, and the energy consumption of each vehicle during EPA's five standard drive cycle tests simulating varying driving conditions. All new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the U.S. are required to have this label showing the EPA's estimate of fuel economy of the vehicle.
In a joint ruling issued in May 2011 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and EPA established the new requirements for a fuel economy and environment label that is mandatory for all new passenger cars and trucks starting with model year 2013. This ruling uses miles per gallon gasoline equivalent for all fuel and advanced technology vehicles available in the U.S. market including plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, natural gas vehicles, diesel-powered vehicles, and gasoline-powered vehicles. In addition to being displayed on new vehicles, fuel economy ratings are used by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to publish the annual Fuel Economy Guide; the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to administer the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program; and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to collect gas guzzler taxes.
Fuel economy estimates for window stickers and CAFE standard compliance are different. The EPA MPGe rating shown in the Monroney label is based on the consumption of the on-board energy content stored in the fuel tank or in the vehicle's battery, or any other energy source, and only represents the tank-to-wheel energy consumption. CAFE estimates are based on a well-to-wheel basis and in the case of liquid fuels and electric drive vehicles also account for the energy consumed upstream to produce the fuel or electricity and deliver it to the vehicle. Fuel economy for CAFE purposes include an incentive adjustment for alternative fuel vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles which results in higher MPGe than those estimated for window stickers.
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