Calculating the Impact of a Switch to Electric

We know that electric vehicles are better for the environment than gas powered vehicles, but just how much better are they? Measuring their impact and comparing them to gas vehicles is a challenge, but can be estimated. Understand your individual impact by learning about the sustainable value, both in dollars and carbon footprint, of a switch to electric.

What’s the Deal with MPGe?

MPGe or Miles Per Gallon [of gasoline] equivalent is used to understand an electric vehicle’s fuel efficiency. It’s how people compare traditional gas guzzling cars to plug-in electric vehicles. The more you understand about MPGe the more prepared you’ll be when it comes time to buy your electric vehicle.

For battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, the EPA developed a formula to equate kilowatt hours of electricity to gallons of gasoline. The formula breakdown gets a bit complicated, but simply put: 1 gallon of gasoline = 33.7 kWh of electricity.

So, 30 MPG means that one gallon of gas can take someone 30 miles. 30 MPGe means that one “gallon” of electricity, or 33.7 kWh, will also take someone 30 miles.

All this is important to note, but at the end of the day, what really matters is two things: fuel efficiency (i.e. MPG or MPGe) and the price of fuel.

For example, let’s say we have two cars, one gas-reliant and one electric. When we compare the MPG and MPGe, then multiply by the prices of gas or electricity needed to go 100 miles, we see that the electric vehicle costs less than half as much compared to the cost of the gas vehicle.


MPGe to CO2

The savings don’t stop at the gas pump, however. When we start to look at the carbon output of gas vehicles compared to the output of electric vehicles, that gap in savings only becomes more apparent. It is estimated that EVs produce 50% fewer emissions over their lifetime compared to similarly sized gas vehicles. 

With zero tailpipe emissions, EVs are an integral part of reducing emissions and improving air quality locally. For every gallon of gas avoided by driving an EV, roughly 20 lbs of tailpipe CO2 is avoided. How’s that for breathing easy?

CO2 Equivalents

The true impact only becomes more clear as we take a deeper dive into the emissions equivalencies of gas vehicles compared to EVs. Driving a plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle for just one year avoids the consumption of hundreds of gallons of gas and CO2 equivalent of thousands of miles driven compared to similar gas vehicles.

The MINI Countryman, on the lower end of the PHEV spectrum, saves the equivalent of 5,208 miles driven and 240 gallons of gas that otherwise would have been consumed in a similar gas car. At the high end of the spectrum, the Hyundai Kona Electric saves the equivalent of 11,439 miles driven and more than 526 gallons of gas per year.

Calculated to represent pounds of tailpipe CO2 avoided, the MINI Countryman saves roughly 4,560 pounds per year and the Kona Electric saves roughly 9,995 pounds per year.

Depending on which vehicle you choose to drive, driving a PHEV or EV instead of a gas vehicle saves the same amount of carbon as:


For the long term money saver, the climate conscious, and everyone in between, driving an electric vehicle can save you more than 50% in dollars and greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime compared to what you’d spend driving a gas vehicle. Breathe easier and give your wallet a break, choose an electric vehicle for your next car.

To check out every EV and PHEV on the market, visit today!

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