It is important to compare EV efficiency differently


It can be confusing to shop for an electric vehicle (EV), especially when you consider how much it will cost to drive around town.

This could be due to many reasons. First, EVs have just been introduced, so even dealers don’t know much about them. Instead of ads from automakers explaining the basics of EVs with well-known actors, we are still being sold trucks that have multi-function tailgates.

Monroney stickers (the sticker that is attached to new vehicles and shows all features, the price, environmental impact, and efficiency) do give a yearly cost of running the vehicle. However, it’s expressed in MPGe (miles per gal equivalent), which is a strange calculation you won’t make in real-life. There is a better way. The EPA and automakers should use it. Measuring the miles per kilowatt hour.

You Don’t Need Calculus

Monroney stickers give you an easy miles-per gallon rating for gas cars. Now you know how much gas it costs and can calculate how that will impact your bank account.

Yes, the MPGe shows that an EV running on gasoline would be more efficient than an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE). This is cool and normal, but it also places an electric vehicle in a gasoline world.

The EPA has this to say about MPGe. Instead, it shows how far the vehicle can travel using the same fuel. This allows for a fair comparison of vehicles using different fuels.

Tell a friend who is looking to purchase an electric vehicle. Most likely, they’ll just walk away and mumble to themselves about how calculus didn’t go so well for them. There’s also the savings you’ll make on gasoline over the five-year period and the annual fuel cost.

The real information is located to the right, in smaller font sizes, just above the tiny car with the range. This is the amount of energy required for the vehicle’s to travel 100 miles according to the EPA’s testing. It’s 22-kWh for the Chevy Bolt 2022. We are getting there.

How to Break Old Habits

This doesn’t align with how we measure the efficiency of a car. Our brains have been trained to calculate the miles per gallon in units of travel per unit energy source. The kWh per 100 mile rating is calculated in such a way that the more efficient a vehicle, the smaller it is. This is again contrary to how our car-driving brains have been trained.

According to the EPA efficiency ratings, Model 3 is the most efficient vehicle in the lineup. However, there’s a whole EPA adjustment factor that can be used to improve that rating.

However, if you take the kWh/100 mile number and add it to the calculator by multiplying 100 by 100, you get the miles perkWh. It’s basically the same mileage per gallon we have used for years but with electricity.

Here’s a quick summary:


  • Hyundai Kona Electric – 3.57 miles/kWh
  • Volkswagen ID.4 Second Edition: 2.85 mi/kWh
  • Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD – 4 miles/kWh
  • Lucid AWD: 3.7 Miles/kWh

This is a little easier to grasp. My Kona Electric will travel 3.57 ml for each kWh of energy. Our current average speed is 4.57 miles per kWh, but this is to be expected since some automakers (like Porsche), are essentially using the lower range number for their EPA ratings.

This method of reporting efficiency makes it easier to calculate how much it will cost to drive an electric vehicle in your locality. Although costs can vary depending on where and when you charge your electric vehicle, it is relatively simple to calculate how much you will pay per kWh at your home. To help you calculate that, we offer a helpful EV charging guide.

It is strange that automakers and EPA want to show miles per kWh. However, it actually shows your driving efficiency as miles per kWh in certain cars. This is how I know we are currently driving an average of 4 miles per kWh in our Kona.

Drivers already have this information. To truly understand these vehicles and to help potential EV owners make informed choices that will affect their wallets, we need to establish a standard that is not tied to the gasoline-powered world.

The EPA and automakers will hopefully work together to reduce gas-vehicle production. For now, however, it is a good idea to bring a calculator with you to help estimate how much you will spend per mile.


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