Need City MPG of 40 or better to qualify for Excise Tax Exemption
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Thread: Need City MPG of 40 or better to qualify for Excise Tax Exemption

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA


    I was intrigued by this, and your best bet would be to contact the Electric Vehicle Association of Washington, DC:
    2014 Crystal Red Tintcoat/Jet Black ELR
    2013 Crystal Red Tintcoat Volt (retired)
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Fridley, MN


    Quote Originally Posted by StreetUrchin View Post
    Time to hit their contact page and send an email to
    I sent a polite inquiry and got a very thorough response today (actually two!), was a pleasant surprise in my inbox when I got around to checking my email. They do have the data, but it's buried and they were helpful in digging it out.

    The 2014 ELR has:
    gasoline 31 City 35 Hwy 33 combined
    electric 85 City 80 Hwy 82 combined

    you can get the complete datasheets that have more details at

    I have to admit I got a pretty good response from them (500+ words, links, screenshots).. the cliff note version is the EPA decides what goes on the sticker in what they feel is the best way to communicate the values... and without going into details I agree that is a hard thing to do. Those of us with great interest who spend waaaaay to much time crunching the numbers get into debates of what is best let alone the average joe or sales rep ... so will leave that debate for elsewhere and agree that's a mess, but it will eventually get better.

    But they are interested in the legislation that is specific to City only MPG and are forwarding it on for further review so they might be taking that into consideration in how to post numbers readily available to the public and officials.

    What's that you say?....what if your local clerk argues about the electric only vs gas only? there is another equation...and here is a direct from their response since they probably explain it better than I could and I think I've seen this equation tossed around (with much debate):

    Quote Originally Posted by
    The file is an Excel file or .xlsx extension. Once open, click on the PHEVs tab at the bottom to the workbook. There are actually two Cadillac ELR models listed, regular and Sport. I will just reference the standard ELR model in this example. In columns J, K, and L you will find the City, Highway, and Combined fuel economy for gasoline only which is:
    31 City, 33 Highway, and 32 Combined – Gasoline only

    For Electricity, you will find the City, Highway, and Combined values under columns AU, AV, and AW and those values are:
    87 City, 83 Highway, and 85 Combined – Electricity only

    Now, to confuse things further, there is also a blended gas and electricity rating which is based on a utility factor that estimates what percentage of the time the vehicle will be run on electricity versus gasoline. The greater the EV range, the higher the utility factor. You can find this utility factor on the far right side of the spreadsheet in columns FM, FN, and FO. The City, Highway, and Combined utility factors for the 2016 ELR are 0.687, 0.663, and 0.677 respectively. Using these utility factors, the EPA calculates the blended gas/electric or “Composite” values which are found in columns FD, FE, and FF under the heading PHEV Composite MPG:

    55 City, 54 Highway, and 55 combined – Composite gas/electric
    personally... that one for composite should go on the sticker too.... would solve your problem as well (being +40MPG)

    Hopefully this will help! You may have to do some hand holding to walk them through it...but I think you have the data you need to qualify.
    Last edited by StreetUrchin; 01-08-2016 at 07:36 PM. Reason: clarity --- sorry for the novel!
    His - 2014 ELR Crystal Red
    Hers - 2013 Volt Silver
    LittleHers - 2008 Fit Blackberry Pearl

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2017


    Sorry for the bump, but I'm curious to hear what came of this.

    I just registered a used 2014 Volt in DC and I had to pay the excise tax because the city mileage showed as 35mpg. I am interested in seeing if I can find evidence that I shouldn't have had to pay it.

    We're you able to get out of paying it for the ELR and what did you need to show?

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