Friday, June 9, 2023
News The US Energy Department Wants to Revise EV MPG Numbers to Reduce...

The US Energy Department Wants to Revise EV MPG Numbers to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Electric vehicles could soon see a reduction in their claimed MPGe figures in the U.S.

  • Electric vehicles are rated using an MPG equivalent figure that allows a comparison with combustion-powered models.

  • Keeping the MPGe numbers high could see automakers introduce less efficient gasoline models.

  • The Alliance for Automotive Innovation warns that reducing MPGe figures could hurt EV adoption.

The United States Department of Energy is proposing a revision to the Miles Per Gallon Equivalent standard used to rate the efficiency of electric vehicles.

Established over 20 years ago, this unit of measure takes into account the generation and distribution of power across the U.S, as well as general driving patterns.

The use of the MPGe figure is to compare the emissions generated by electric vehicles to those generated by gasoline and diesel-powered models.

At the moment, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles obtain very high MPGe figures that place them far above any fully combustion-powered model in terms of efficiency.

For example, the Chrysler Pacifica eHybrid currently has a rating of 88.2 MPGe while the Volkswagen ID.4 is rated at 380.6 MPGe.

According to the Department of Energy, this massive difference between the ratings for EVs and gasoline-powered models could actually result in an increase in the total emissions generated by new vehicles.

Indeed, automakers in the United States are required to meet a corporate average fuel economy target (CAFE) for every model year.

This means that the fuel and energy consumption of every model sold by a manufacturer is averaged and then compared with the target. Automakers who surpass this target can receive carbon credits that can then be sold to other companies while those who fall short have to pay fines.

The problem here is that by giving very high MPGe ratings to EVs, their impact on the corporate average figure is inflated, which means that an automaker doesn’t have to sell many EVs to meet the CAFE standards.

This means that some companies that sell a few EVs could actually increase the actual fossil fuel consumption of their models while still being eligible for carbon credits.

In order to avoid this, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to significantly lower MPGe figures for EVs and PHEVs in order to force automakers to sell more of them to achieve the same impact on their corporate fuel economy.

In the proposal, the Chrysler Pacifica eHybrid receives a new efficiency rating of 67.1 MPGe and the Volkswagen ID.4 boasts 107.4 MPGe.

While this proposal could prevent automakers from launching new gas-guzzling models, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation believes this could slow down the adoption of electric vehicles by making their efficiency improvement over gasoline-powered models less impressive.

Source: Reuters

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