MPGe and Range Advice: Understanding, Managing, and Why it Matters

If you’re considering a hybrid or EV, you’ll need to know about MPGe and range. These concepts can be confusing if you’re switching from a gas-powered car. This article will break down MPGe and range, show how the two relate, and the best way to maximize both.

What is MPGe

MPGe stands for miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent. Unlike MPG with a gas-powered vehicle, MPGe isn’t a straightforward calculation.

MPG tells you how far your car can go on one gallon of gas. MPGe is the distance a vehicle can travel on 33.7kWh of electricity, which the EPA has determined to be the electric equivalent of a gallon of gas. So if you’re looking at a car with a rating of 100 MPGe, that means it can travel 100 miles on 33.7kWH of electricity.

Ultimately, MPGe measures how efficiently an electric vehicle uses electricity. Like MPG, a higher number is better.

While MPGe is an essential factor when purchasing a vehicle, you’ll also want to consider range. The range is how far the vehicle should travel on a full charge. This may be the more important metric for most new hybrid or EV owners. While MPGe measures efficiency, the range tells you how far you can go.

With a gas engine, you can determine the range by multiplying the average MPG by the number of gallons of gas in your tank. MPGe doesn’t scale that way. This is due to various factors since the electricity used to make your car go is the same electricity that performs other functions. So 100% of your charge doesn’t go toward moving your vehicle. The EPA offers an excellent illustration showing where the energy goes.

Batteries also aren’t yet able to hold enough energy to get the long ranges drivers are used to from gas-powered vehicles. You can think of the battery as a small gas tank. If your tank only holds five gallons of gas, you won’t get far, regardless of how efficiently that gas is used.

Ideally, you’ll have a car with a high MPGe and a long range. That means the vehicle holds more power off a single charge and can go further using that power. You won’t stop as often due to the range and will save money thanks to the efficiency.

How to Maximize Range

Just like with a gas-powered vehicle, how you drive can affect the range and efficiency of your plug-in hybrid or EV. Most of the tips you’ve heard in the past will apply to an EV: remove unnecessary weight, inflate tires properly, and avoid sudden stops and acceleration.

There are a few hybrid/EV-specific hacks to maximizing your range. Keep an eye on your battery’s charge and slow down when it gets low. You use less battery power at slower speeds.

Some places allow you to use HOV lanes if you drive a hybrid. Be sure to take advantage of these when possible. You’ll be able to maintain a more consistent speed (using cruise control is excellent) which will help with range.

Especially if you’re making the switch from a gas-powered car, familiarize yourself with the charging stations on and near your most often traveled routes. We have a guide to charging EVs in Austin that you can bookmark.

On longer trips, you’ll want to plan ahead to ensure you can keep your vehicle charged along the way. It’s also an excellent idea to keep a backup EV charger in your car if things don’t go according to plan.

At Juke Auto our technicians are specially trained to work on hybrids and EVs. We’d love to help ensure you’re getting the most from your vehicle’s MPGe and range. Contact us today for an appointment.

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