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PHOTO CAPTION: Toyota Scion IQ Electric is rated by the US EPA at 99 MPGe.

How Electric Cars Can Get the Equivalent of 99 MPG

Stephen Edelstein explains the math behind EPA mileage ratings on electric-drive cars and how it's possible to get such high ratings.

Published: 11-Feb-2013

How can a car that requires no liquid fuel get 121 miles per gallon? That’s exactly the paradox you’ll encounter when looking at the window sticker of a 2013 Scion iQ EV which, in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel economy tests returned 121 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) combined.

When the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf launched in 2010, the EPA thought it would be a good idea to update its ratings for non-liquid fuels. With more battery electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids hitting the market every year, it’s an increasingly important task. Here’s how the EPA gives electric cars fuel economy ratings.

Comparing apples to apples, and kilowatt-hours to miles per gallon

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