How Much Energy Is In A Gallon Of Gas? When compared to a gallon of gasoline new for 2022

In the world of energy, there is a lot of talk about how much gasoline is in a gallon, how much energy is in a gallon of gas, and how to compare the two.

Here at, we want to help you compare and contrast the two so you can make the best decision for your needs. in addition, this post will answer your question about “How much energy is in a gallon of gas?” and provide relevant information.

how much energy is in a gallon of gas
how much energy is in a gallon of gas


How Much Energy Is In A Gallon Of Gas?

How Much Energy Is In A Gallon Of Gas?
How Much Energy Is In A Gallon Of Gas?

The energy content of a gallon of gasoline is 132,000 Btu and the refinery efficiency is 90 percent. The amount of energy cost per gallon of gasoline produced is equivalent to about $0.04/gallon.

How many kWh are in a gallon of gasoline?

How many kWh are in a gallon of gasoline?
How many kWh are in a gallon of gasoline?

The United States EPA uses a standard of 115,000 BTU of energy per gallon (US) of gasoline, which converts to 33.7 kilowatt hours per gallon (US).

How much energy is in a fuel?

How much energy is in a fuel?
How much energy is in a fuel?

In BP’s annual review, the company reported that despite significant advances in renewable energy sources, fossil fuels still supply 84 percent of the world’s energy. This is an eye opener as renewable energy continues to grow in popularity.

How much energy is in a liter of gasoline?

How much energy is in a liter of gasoline?
How much energy is in a liter of gasoline?

A liter of gasoline has a relatively small amount of energy compared to other sources of energy.

Is electricity cheaper than gasoline?

Is electricity cheaper than gasoline?
Is electricity cheaper than gasoline?

Gasoline costs less per MJ than electricity when it comes to the amount you’ll pay per kWh. For example, in New South Wales you’ll pay roughly 30 cents per kWh of electricity. 4 cents per MJ of gasoline.”

Comparing electricity to a gallon of gasoline

Comparing electricity to a gallon of gasoline
Comparing electricity to a gallon of gasoline

Electric cars are still a relatively new technology, and there is much debate surrounding their comparative merits. Some say that electric cars only achieve comparable fuel efficiency to gasoline vehicles when they’re driven in completely electrified environments, while others argue that the benefits of electric powertrain technologies should be taken into account when comparing the two types of vehicles.

The “burning” question for electric cars is how to compare them with gasoline vehicles on an apples-to-apples basis. Recently I wrote about how wrong the EPA’s 99mpg number for the Nissan Leaf was, and I gave 37mpg number you get from DOE’s methodology. More research shows that question is complex and messy.”

The Leaf’s efficiency is so low that it would be better for electric cars to publish their efficiency in electric terms, which would result in a number like “watt-hours/mile.” The EPA measured the Leaf as about 330 watt-hours/mile (or .33 kwh/mile if you prefer.) For those who want an MPG type number, so that higher is better, you would do miles/kwh.

It is not easy to come up with a national average kwh/gallon number, but this would remove the variation that can occur due to local power plants.

The DoE or EPA could also produce a national average figure, but car vendors might not want to use it in states like California where the number is higher than elsewhere. In addition, numbers in other countries are usually much better than those in the USA.

There is a lot of local variation in the mix of energy sources, with nationally it being about 50% coal, 20% gas, 20% nuclear and 10% hydro.

Some places have more coal than others (for example Utah, New Mexico and many midwestern areas), while in California there is almost no coal – it’s mostly natural gas mixed with some nuclear power in the south. In the Pacific Northwest electricity has fewer emissions due to a predominance of hydroelectricity.

Understanding the local mix is a start, but there is more complexity. There are several different methods for calculating grid energy usage, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

One method is to look at the local mix of electricity sources; this includes things like solar power and wind turbines. Another method is to use national average data from utilities, which accounts for variations in weather across regions. Finally, some companies use a combination of both methods to get an accurate picture of grid energy usage.

  • Theoretical perfect conversion (EPA method): 99 mpg-e(perfect)
  • Heat energy formula (DoE national average): 37 mpg-e(heat)
  • Cost of electricity vs. gasoline (untaxed): 75 mpg-e($)
  • Pollution, notably PM2.5 particulates: Hard to calculate, could be very poor. Hydrocarbons and CO: very good.
  • Greenhouse Gas emissions, g CO2 equivalent: 60 mpg-e(CO2)

Theoretical pure energy conversion

The EPA looked at the chemical energy in a gallon of gasoline to figure out how much energy it contains. This is roughly 120,000 BTUs. Only the USA uses BTUs, but because they are similar in size, you can use this information to calculate how many kilojoules (the metric unit of energy) a gallon of gasoline contains if you want.

Electrical energy is a form of energy that is lower in entropy than chemical energy. This means that you cannot convert the chemical energy of gasoline or other fossil fuels into electrical energy at 100% efficiency.

A gallon of gasoline can produce about 36 kilowatt hours (kWh).

The X-Prize, which rewarded the best 100mpg car, faced the same problem of how to compare gasoline and electric cars. It was controversial, and I believe they were in error when they selected the theoretical number, giving a huge advantage to the electric cars in the contest. However surprisingly, the winner of The X-Prize – an Edison2 gasoline car – shows that this is not always necessary.

The Edison2 team started thinking they would be electric car builders, but they quickly realized that gasoline was a better choice because their car could be very lightweight. In reality, 100mpg is better than 170 mpg-e and the Edison2 deserves to win this competition.

Even the fans of perfect conversion acknowledge that there is about a 7% loss in transmission lines, and some further losses in chargers and the battery system, so they don’t use the totally perfect number. The EPA used an 8% lower number than perfect, presumably for this reason.

Just using the base energy (heat)

The Department of Energy studies all the power plants in the United States and their efficiency is calculated and averaged. Nuclear plants, which use heat, generate it from nuclear reactions rather than fossil fuel. Variations in methodology used for nuclear plants only affect things a little bit, however; people react to this information in many different ways but they are only about 20% of the grid.

The DoE method recommends using a kilowatt-hour (kWh) at the plug to calculate how much energy a particular task will use. This is a difference of almost 3 to 1, so be aware of it when planning your energy usage.

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The process of combustion is a pure way to release energy, whether it’s from burning gasoline, coal, natural gas, or nuclear fuel. It would be silly to compare this method with using oil distillates as fuel in power plants.

A fair criticism of the release of heat from a power plant is that it is wasted energy. The released heat can be used to provide hot water and interior heating for buildings, but in cars it also warms the interior in winter and clears windows.

The cost

The Leaf’s 320 watt-hours/mile is about 3.5 cents/mile, which is pretty good compared to the national average of 11 cents/kwh.

Electricity is undoubtedly cheaper than gasoline. In addition, gasoline has about 15% tax put on it to support the roads, which electric cars should also pay. This would bring electric car fuel efficiency down to around 75 MPG (dollar-based).

The price of electricity also varies depending on where you live. In California, the tier system makes heavy users pay 32 cents/kwh, which would make electric cars more expensive than gasoline, but I believe there is a law that allows electric car owners to avoid paying the higher rate.

The cost of batteries has not been fully determined, but some people believe they need to be replaced at a rate of 10 cents/mile. This makes the battery an expensive “expendable” part of the car.

According to other sources, battery life in cars like the Prius is often long. Most people agree that batteries do eventually wear out, and so it makes sense for car companies to charge a cost/mile for them. However, engines and many other parts of cars also wear out over time.

The pollution

Another way to compare your kwh and your gallons is by the pollutants emitted. Indeed, this is probably the main thing in people’s minds, since nobody is buying electric cars to save money right now. However, they might in the future.

There are many ways to look at pollution. The biggest way to look at pollution today is greenhouse gas emissions, which I will cover below. While GHG emissions are important, the reality is that gasoline and coal emit a lot of other forms of pollution as well. At present, nuclear power and hydro don’t emit much pollution, but people are very divided on how green they consider them to be.

Nuclear waste and the risk of leaks trouble many people, while the destruction of valleys and habitats and fisheries done by hydro is worse than air pollution from other modes in the minds of different groups.”

Nuclear and hydro power are two different types of power production that account for a small percentage of US and global power respectively. Hydro is more common in North America, Europe, and Canada, while nuclear is more common in Asia.

Gasoline emits a fair amount of particulates (soot), while diesel emits a great deal more. Coal-generated electricity has 2-3x time the particulates of gasoline per mile driven, and triple the acid-rain causing sulfur dioxide.

There are arguments on both sides of the question, but I believe that coal is the big loser in this situation. Particulates are a huge cause of death and it’s not well-known, but they’re also a big problem in California. The state has calculated that 9,000 people die each year due to particulate pollution – more than die from car crashes.

The number of deaths attributable to air pollution in the United States has been on the rise for some time, with older adults being disproportionally impacted.

Coal-fired power plants produce less pollution than electric cars, though it is difficult to determine an exact number.

I will update this information as I gather more data on pollutants emitted from cars and power plants. This includes information on the levels of various pollutants and their effects. For example, some hydrocarbons can be carcinogenic, so we need to know their scale of effects.

Greenhouse Gases

More research is being done on calculating “grams of CO2 (or equivalent) per mile” as a way to compare electricity and gasoline. This metric is highly local variable, with very high numbers in the coal states and nice numbers in the hydro and nuclear powered areas. If global warming is your big issue, this may be one statistic you focus on.

According to recent research, coal-powered electricity produces about 1000 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour, while natural gas emits only 500 grams. However, some experts argue that the level of emissions from solar panels is even higher because of the energy required to produce them.

There is some debate about how much methane leaks from natural gas production, but it’s thought that the figure is around 1.5%. This means that even though natural gas produces lower emissions than coal, its total CO2 emissions should be higher – more like 700g/kWh.

According to the DoE, the national average CO2 emissions for electricity is 588 grams per kilowatt hour. This number seems high, considering NG leakage can be up to 30% of total production. Using well-to-wheel numbers for gasoline, we can calculate an approximate national average CO2 emissions figure of 11.5 kg per gallon. This means that the typical American uses around 19.5 kWh of energy in a gallon of gasoline (based on GHG emissions).

The Leaf’s 60 mpg-e(GHG) on the national average is better than some other states’ 37mpge result from heat, but it falls short of the perfect conversion in a nuclear or hydro state.

Fuel Content Factor

The Department of Energy (DOE) released its electric and hybrid car report 10 years ago, and you can see that their math uses the heat formula (real energy used) but then they have to multiply it by something called the “Fuel Content Factor.” This factor is supposed to account for how much of a fuel’s energy is actually used in a car.

It is amusing to read how they describe it, as the number is pulled out of thin air due to political reasons. It’s huge–6.6–meaning that the Department of Energy’s 37 mph on the LEAF would get multiplied out to 246 mpg! However, had the EPA used this number, it would have been more than double the perfect energy conversion number and it would have looked ridiculous.

Electric cars have the potential to be better for the environment than gasoline cars, but introducing a fudge factor for political reasons is a bad idea. People will stop trusting you when they find out the real numbers.

So how are electric cars doing?

In light of my research into autonomous cars, I believe that there are many environmental and efficiency benefits to switching people to electric vehicles.

The use of traditional sedan-sized electric cars does not seem to be a big win compared to hybrid gasoline cars, at least on the average grid. They are a win in the low-coal places like California and the high-hydro and nuclear places like Washington state, but a loser in the high-coal places.

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We are working to make electrical generation more environmentally friendly. We can plug gas leaks and use renewable energy sources, like solar and wind. We can also use biodiesel, which is less polluting than other fuels.


The X-Prize showed that electric cars are not necessarily the answer when it comes to commuting, but that lightweight cars are.

The Aptera reports a hundred watt-hours/mile, while small electric velomobiles have gotten down to thirty watt-hours/mile. We are unlikely to get that low in practice, but I believe that fifty watts hours per mile is a likely goal for single person urban commute vehicles.

Other factors

Electric cars usually charge at night, which means they tend to use baseload power. This varies from place to place, as there are different sources of baseload power.

Hydro and natural gas can be turned on and off quickly, making them good for peak loads; wind runs at night more often than not, so it uses more baseload power; while PV solar energy is entirely reliant on the sun’s rays during the day, it switches to using less baseload power during nighttime hours.

Electricity is almost entirely produced domestically in the United States. Significant amounts of oil are imported, sometimes from unfriendly areas.

The emissions from cars are predominantly generated in urban areas, while power plant emissions may be out of town. This matters for particulate matter (PM2.5) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), but not for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Electric cars are not as good for the environment as gasoline cars in countries with a high percentage of coal power, such as the United States. While electric cars can be convenient and reduce emissions, it is debatable whether they should be licensed in places with 97% coal power like West Virginia.

What about solar cars?

Many people believe that they can run their electric car on solar and produce no pollution, but this is not always the case. There have been cases where neighbours have had to remove trees that have grown and shaded some of their solar panels, which has resulted in them producing more pollution.

There are some serious misconceptions about the energy needed to make solar panels.

There is a lot of confusion about how much energy it takes to produce solar panels, and this has caused some people to believe that they’re not a viable option. In fact, the amount of energy required to make solar panels isn’t as great as many people think it is.

To meet renewable energy goals, solar panels must be connected to the power grid. When you connect your solar panels to the grid, you help make the grid a little bit greener–but that’s not good enough. To really make a difference, you need to drive your car using clean energy sources like renewable wind and solar!

If you don’t connect your panels to the grid, they will function as a live load or charge batteries. If connected to the grid, they can either charge batteries in your car or act as a backup power source for other devices.

The solar panels that just charge a car would usually only be able to generate a small amount of power. Additionally, even without taking into account the fact that batteries only take full output from solar panels when they are fairly discharged, the reality is that batteries only use a fraction of the power generated by solar panels when they are not fully charged.

When your battery’s charge is low, the solar power generated by the system will be wasted.

If you don’t want to participate in the grid, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Your panels are generating power, and that power could be used by the grid if you connected. By not connecting, you’re reducing demand on other sources of energy and contributing to climate change.

You need to accept that your driving is not emissions-free, even though your net emissions are very good or even negative. Drive more and you will use more grid electricity from the slightly greener grid you helped make. Each mile you drive will burn the fuel of the grid, and there’s no getting around it

Grid-tied solar panels can provide power to your home, but if you live in a coal state, you should actually install solar panels and feed them to the grid. This will reduce demand for coal and help the environment. You should also drive a hybrid rather than an electric vehicle or PHEV if possible because using solar power will reduce your need for gasoline.

F.A.Q about “how much energy is in a gallon of gas”

How much energy is produced by natural gas?

What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?
Energy source Billion kWh Share of total
Natural gas 1,624 40.5%
Coal 773 19.3%
Petroleum (total) 17 0.4%
Petroleum liquids 10 0.2%

How is energy released from fuel?

Combustion is the process of burning a substance to create heat, light, and other forms of energy. The released energy from fuels is used to make other forms of energy such as electricity. When gasoline burns in a car engine, some of its chemical energy is converted into heat.

What fuel has the most energy?

The highest energy density fuel is hydrogen, which is also the simplest chemical component in existence. Gasoline, which is derived from refining crude oil, contains much more energy than coal (twice the lower grade bituminous) or wood (three times).

How much gas does it take to make 1 megawatt?

A high efficiency, natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant might consume about 7 cubic feet of gas to produce one kilowatt-hour of electricity. That would be about 7,000 Btus of gas. It would take about 7 cubic feet of gas to produce one megawatt-hour.

How much work can 1 Joule do?

One joule is the work done (or energy expended) by a force of one newton (N) acting over a distance of one meter. One newton equals a force that produces an acceleration of one meter per second (s) per second on a one kilogram mass. Therefore, 1 J = 1 N•m.

How much energy does it take to drive a car?

Driving an average family in the United States uses 110.25 kWh of energy each day, or 10 times as much as the energy needed to power a house.

Is gas hot water cheaper?

Gas is typically cheaper than electricity, so gas hot water systems are usually more cost-effective in terms of running costs. This means that you don’t have to worry about ‘off-peak’ tariffs, for instance, but if you’re not connected to the mains your bottles can run out sooner.

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Is it cheaper to boil water with gas or electric?

For people who are looking to save money on their bills, gas is usually cheaper than electricity. This is because gas appliances use less energy overall.

However, if you only need to boil a small quantity of water and switch off the hob as soon as it boils, then using an electric kettle will work out cheaper in the long run.

How much gas does it take to drive 1000 miles?

How much does it cost in gas to drive 1000 miles?
MPG $2 per gallon $4 per gallon
1 MPG $2,000.00 $4,000.00
2 MPG $1,000.00 $2,000.00
3 MPG $666.67 $1,333.33
4 MPG $500.00 $1,000.00

How much natural gas does it take to produce 1 KWh?

It takes about .0001 Mcf to generate one kilowatt-hour of electricity from natural gas.

One thousand cubic feet of natural gas will generate 1 kWh of electricity.

What state produces the most energy?

These are the states producing most of the nation’s energy.
  • Louisiana.
  • Pennsylvania. …
  • West Virginia. …
  • Kentucky. …
  • Colorado. …
  • Oklahoma. > Total energy production: 2,723 trillion BTU. …
  • California. > Total energy production: 2,625 trillion BTU. …
  • New Mexico. > Total energy production: 2,261 trillion BTU. …

What is the largest source of energy for the Earth?

Solar energy, as well as other forms of energy found on Earth, comes from the sun. The sun’s radiant heat provides the majority of our planet’s thermal energy, which is then used to produce electricity through solar cells.

What type of energy is gasoline?

Chemical energy is stored in the bonds of atoms and molecules. This energy can be converted to thermal (heat) when people burn wood in a fireplace or burn gasoline in a car’s engine.

Why do we burn fuel?

Fossil fuels are burned to produce energy. The by-products of this burning process are CO2 and water vapor. When hydrocarbons are burned in the presence of oxygen they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is a greenhouse gas and a leading cause of global warming.

When fuel is burned what gas is released?

Carbon dioxide is emitted when we use fossil fuels to create energy. Fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, are made up of carbon. Carbon makes up 60-90% of the mass of these fuels, so when we burn them, a lot of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

Which is the cleanest fuel?

Compared with some other fossil fuels, natural gas emits the least amount of carbon dioxide when combusted. This makes natural gas the cleanest burning fossil fuel of all.

How much does a gallon of gas weigh?

According to the Science and Technology Desk Reference, a gallon of common fuel (such as gasoline) weighs six pounds. A gallon of water, on the other hand, weighs about 8.4 pounds.

How much energy is in a gallon of diesel fuel?

Heating fuels and their energy content.
Energy Source Unit Energy Content (Btu)
Diesel Fuel 1 Gallon 139000
Gasoline 1 Gallon 124000
Natural Gas 1 Cubic Foot (cu.ft.) 950 – 1150
Heating Oil 1 Gallon 139000

Do you need oil to make electricity?

Fossil fuel power plants use coal or oil to create heat which is then used to generate steam to drive turbines which generate electricity. These plants produce reliable electricity over a long period of time and are generally affordable to build.

How much power is 1mwh?

A megawatt hour is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatts of power.

Where does the US get its electricity from?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the majority of America’s electricity was generated by natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy in 2019.

Additionally, renewable sources such as hydropower, biomass, wind power, geothermal power and solar energy accounted for a significant share of the nation’s electricity production in that year.

How many joules does it take to stop a heart?

Voltage Used to Resuscitate a Human Heart
Bibliographic Entry Result (w/surrounding text) Standardized Result
Spear, Dave. Electronic Mail. “We dose current to the chest in units called joules (watts/sec) and use 200 to 360 joules per shock.” 200–360 J

How many joules are in a lightning bolt?

The power in a single bolt of lightning can be quite significant.

How much is a joule in real life?

A joule is the amount of work done by a force of one newton to move an object one meter in the direction of the force. In order to raise an apple 1 meter in the air, you will need to apply enough kinetic energy (J) so that its mass (M) times its velocity squared (v2) equals 1 Newton’s gravitational force on it.

How far can you go with a gallon of gas?

A typical car can travel about 30 miles on just one gallon of gasoline.

How far can a tank of gas take you?

Most gasoline cars have about two and a half gallons of fuel left in their tanks when the gas light comes on. This means that, depending on how many miles you drive per gallon, you can usually go between thirty and sixty miles before needing to refuel again.

How far can gas-powered cars go?

Electric cars have a longer range than gas-powered cars, typically reaching up to 490 kilometers (304 miles) on a single charge.

Can I replace my gas water heater with an electric one?

Switching to an electric water heater can be a cheaper and more eco-friendly option, as they use less energy and require fewer parts to function. They typically last longer than gas water heaters, too, so you’re not likely to have to make the switch anytime soon.

Is gas or electric water better?

Electric water heaters are more efficient than gas units, and they also use less energy overall. This is because gas hot water heaters require more energy to operate and release waste into the environment.

How much energy is in a gallon of gas?

How much energy is in a gallon of gas?

What is a kWh – kilowatt hour + CALCULATIONS 💡💰 energy bill

The Real Reason Gas Prices Are So Damn High | The Daily Show


We hope this comparison has helped you understand the different aspects of gallon of gasoline and gallon of gasoline. When you are ready to make a decision, be sure to come to for all your gasoline needs!

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