How do you calculate the mpg for electric cars?

My friend and I both have electric vehicles. He swears by his, saying it has the best fuel efficiency out there, but I’m sure my little car has great battery efficiency too. I want to compare how many miles we each get per “gallon”. How do you calculate the mpg for electric cars?

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Answer provided by
Emily Jansen
Answered on May 20, 2022
Awesome question! The calculation for MPG in an electric car is identical to the calculation in gas vehicles. Obviously we use different variables, but it’s all very similar.
When we’re talking about MPG (Miles Per Gallon), we’re really talking about fuel economy. We want to make sure that the amount of fuel we’re expending per mile is reasonable, and that we’re not wasting fuel on our miles.
When we talk about fuel in electric vehicles, we’re talking about charge in the battery. Energy is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) for your electric car. Fuel efficiency in electric vehicles is measured by miles per Killowatt-hour (Mi/kWh)
The calculation for MPG is Distance(D)/Volume of gas used (V). Similarly, the calculation for Mi/kWh is Distance (D)/Energy Used (E)
Real world scenario time. If you drive 200 miles, and your battery is depleted by 60 kWh, then your mileage is 3.3 mi/kWh.
Another thing you might be curious about is the average power your electric car uses during the trip. Sure, you went faster some times than others, but you want the average amount of power you spent.
There’s a calculation for that too. Just make sure you keep an eye on how much time you spend driving, because that’s necessary. To find the average power your vehicle used during the trip (Pavg), divided Energy used (E) by Time the trip takes (T)
So if your 200 mile trip took 4 hours to drive while using 60 kWh, the average power is 15kW
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