Simon, B., "Benchmarking Vehicle Fuel Economy with mpk and kpg Calculation," SAE Technical Paper 2010-01-2041, 2010, doi:10.4271/2010-01-2041.
The transition towards a ‘Green Economy’ puts pressure on automakers to improve the fuel economy of their vehicles. Fuel economy is complicated vehicle attribute impacted by a large number of factors, not limited to vehicle weight, rolling resistance, aerodynamic drag, engine efficiency, drive train losses, accessory loading, and performance targets embodied in the controls strategy. Due to the number and complexity of contributing factors, fuel economy benchmarking, target setting and technology evaluation can be difficult. This paper introduces two new vehicle attributes: miles per kilowatt-hour (mpk) and kilowatt-hours per gallon (kpg) which, when multiplied together, calculate mpg. These parameters are derived from emissions and fuel economy certification data posted by the EPA on their website. This paper then shows how these parameters can be used to characterize and benchmark vehicles, set targets for new vehicles, and project future technology trends.