Is 54.5 Miles Per Gallon Really Possible?

While the number on your sticker may be the closest to an accurate count, politicians use another math to come up with required standards.

How many miles to the gallon does your car get?

Well, it depends who you ask. The government uses two calculations: one touted by politicians, the other one a little more accurate.

NBC4 news partners at nonprofit FairWarning has found that there is a wide gap between the two, which means sweeping goals to increase miles-per-gallon on cars across the board might not be helping as much as you think.

While the number on your sticker may be the closest to an accurate count, politicians use another math to come up with required standards.

Back in 2011, the White House announced that it had reached a deal with automakers to get cars to 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year.

While the goal, and the reality, is still good for the environment, some experts say that number is misleading. You’ll more likely be getting 37 miles per gallon in the real world.

The difference, experts say, is in the math.

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The government standard, called CAFE standards, was created in the 70s and does not account for actual driving conditions. It is an average manufacturers must meet on all the cars they make combined. It includes certain credits and does not factor in things like driving with your air conditioner on.

But some experts say that standard is about 25 percent above the actual mileage the average car will get.

The number you see on the “sticker” of a new car is more accurate. It’s set by the EPA and specific to the individual car.

For the full story, visit FairWarning.

For a side-by-side comparison of the two standards, visit the EPA here.

To find your mileage, visit the site here.

For more gas mileage tips, visit fueleconomy.gov.