Let's take things one at a time. The EPA, in an attempt to make the purchase process for consumers easier, decided to devise what is called mpg equivalency rating. This is defined as a measure of distance traveled per unit energy consumption.
The Nissan Leaf has been rated under this system at 99 mpg equivalent, a best-in-class figure (for the record, the Leaf is alone in its class for now). To calculate the rating, the EPA considered that a 33.7kWh battery is equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy.
The EPA slaps the Leaf with a charging time of seven hours on a 240V charge and a driving range of 73 miles, based on the five-cycle tests.
All of the above is a bit complicated, we know, but you can simplify it like this, if you ever find yourself in the position of having to chose an EV, you can scrap the EPA rating (which, honestly, we find to be more of a confusing nuisance than a helpful tip) and only take into account the charging time and range. A bit primitive, we know, but much easier. Add to that the cost of electricity and there you have it.
"We're pleased the label clearly demonstrates the Nissan LEAF to be a best-in-class option, reflecting that it's a pure electric vehicle, uses no gas, has no tailpipe and has zero emissions," said Scott Becker, Nissan Finance and Administration vice president.
"The label provides consumers with a tool to compare alternative-fuel vehicles to those with a traditional internal combustion engine and allows them to make an informed purchase decision."