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In the fight to reduce greenhouse gases and protect the environment, the motor industry is adjusting and shifting its focus from gas and diesel cars to cleaner alternative fuel sources. Electricity and hydrogen are cleaner energy sources and will help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and combat the effects of global warming. Therefore, electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars are the future of the motor industry. However, even though both are notable and clean alternative fuel sources, an EV is superior to a hydrogen vehicle in terms of fuel economy.

Fuel economy: MPG vs. MPGe

MPGe, which stands for miles per gallon equivalent according to Kelly Blue Book, is the unit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came up with to measure the energy consumption level of electric vehicles to compare with gas-powered cars. MPG stands for mile per gallon. Hence, MPGe is for electric-powered vehicles, and mpg is for gas-powered cars.

Comparing fuel consumption for electric and gas-fueled vehicles is complex, and that’s why the EPA came up with miles per gallon equivalent in the 2000s and, according to the website Fuel Economy, found that 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity is equivalent to a gallon of fuel. As per Bluegrass Auto, for example, a car that uses 33.7 kWh of electricity to travel 100 miles rates 100 MPGe, and if another vehicle travels the exact 100 miles using 32 kWh, its rating would be 105 MPGe since it’s more efficient.

MPGe rate compares how efficient an electrified car is since it directly shows how much it costs to charge up the vehicle and how much power the EV needs to draw from the grid to top off its battery. A high MPGe rating shows that a car makes the best use of its electrical power.

Mile per gallon is the value gotten when you divide the miles driven by the gallon used. The measurement of mpg is the gas equivalent to electric power, and 33.7 kWh of electricity equals one gallon of gas. So, mpg values are significantly lower than MPGe values for electric cars. A car with 35 mpg is excellent, while EVs can get over 100 MPGe. Both ratings, MPGe, and mpg, measure the efficiency of a car’s fuel economy.

Comparing the fuel economy equivalent of hydrogen cars to EVs

As discussed earlier, electric vehicles have the best fuel economy compared to hydrogen cars. Let’s compare the MPGe values of different vehicles and see the value difference. As outlined by Edmunds, the Toyota Mirai has an electric fuel cell engine and uses hydrogen, and its EPA MPGe rating is 74. The Hyundai Nexo, a hydrogen fuel car, has a 61 MPGe rating. For comparison with electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Bolt EV 2LT has a 120 MPGe rating, the Tesla Model 3 has a 132 MPGe rating, and the Nissan Leaf has a 104 MPGe rating. Electric cars’ superior MPGe ratings make EVs the winners in fuel efficiency.

A 2022 Toyota Mirai XLE hydrogen fuel cell sedan in Supersonic Red
2022 Toyota Mirai XLE in Supersonic Red | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Electric vehicles with the worst MPGe

Electric Vehicles are the best. EVs are becoming more affordable, and the electricity cost for charging them is even cheaper. Still, some models can fail to live up to the EV standards. Most electric vehicles have an MPGe rating of more than 100 and some more than 120 MPGe, but not all of them.

The Ford F-150 Lightning has the worst MPGe rating for an electric vehicle with a 66 MPGe rating. Compared with hydrogen-fueled cars, the Toyota Mirai has a higher rating of 74 MPGe, and the Hyundai Nexo has a slightly lower rating of 61 MPGe.


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