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EPA ready to rejigger wild mileage claims for electric cars

If you thought the only thing more outrageous than the 230 mile-per-gallon claim for the electric Chevrolet Volt was the 367-mpg claim for the electric Nissan Leaf, there’s a change afoot that may make sense to you, reports Drive On’s Sharon Silke Carty:

The concept of judging fuel efficiency on electric cars by the “miles per gallon” they consume is dying a slow death. The EPA and other government agencies are working on a formula that will accurately tell people how fuel efficient electric vehicles are — but since those cars don’t use gas, miles per gallon doesn’t make any sense.

An Israeli firm last week urged the EPA to come up with a three-pronged number that would tell people how much electricity a car uses when it’s fully charged, how much electricity it takes to charge the car and how much gas the car uses when it’s out of juice.

On Monday, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a government agency, said they believe the new figure will give buyers two pieces of data, although what those two numbers are hasn’t yet been decided. With both the Volt and Leaf due to go on the market late next year, the rejiggered formulas could have a big impact on sales.

“The current consensus on the committee is that you need to have two different numbers, since the vehicles use two different fuels,” says Jeff Gonder, research engineer with NREL.

USA Today

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