Video: Ford Offers Explanation of Confusing MPGe
With Ford's recent announcement that the C-MAX Energi was officially certified by the EPA with a rating of 108 MPG highway, 92 MPGe city and 100 MPGe combined, an explanation of these MPG-related terms was bound to come. A new Ford-produced video entitled, "Because You Asked...What is MPGe?" reduces the MPGe question to its simplest terms.
The use of MPGe has been somewhat controversial ever since the new era electric cars and plug-in hybrids—and the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Enviromental Protection Agency started talking about the best efficiency metric for plug-in cars. More than two years ago, Mike Duoba, a research engineer at Argonne National Lab, warned not to dumb down EV efficiency with the use of MPGe. "Trying to boil [EV efficiency] information down to one number is only going to mislead people," he said. "There’s no magical way to turn electricity into gasoline.”
But MPGe is being used on window labels, and Ford's vehicles are scoring high on MPGe, so the company needs to make the high miles-per-gallon-equivalent numbers as meaningful and relevant as possible.
Unfortunately, the goofball approach to Ford's video plays into the notion of dumbing down EV efficiency, and we still question the usefulness of MPGe in comparing the efficiency of gas cars versus EVs. But maybe Ford's simplified explanation of MPGe is a start to re-opening the conversation.
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