Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've been wondering this for a long time and Google doesn't seem to want to give me the answer.

In the United States, the term "miles per gallon" is most commonly used to express the fuel efficiency of an automobile. Given that "mile" and "gallon" are artifacts of the U.S. customary system of measurement, how would someone in a country that uses the Metric system go about expressing this rate? "Kilometers per liter"? "Meters per U.K. gallon"? "Furlongs per hogshead"?

share|improve this question
1  
It's "rods to the hogshead" not Furplongs per! Sheesh. –  RedGrittyBrick Mar 3 '11 at 15:07

6 Answers 6

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The standard measure is in litres per hundred kilometres.

share|improve this answer
    
What's the abbreviation for that? "Miles per gallon" is MPG. –  amphetamachine Mar 3 '11 at 7:01
3  
The "abbreviation" is the ordinary scientific expression of the term: <quantity>l/100km. Once you slip into the metric world, you tend to get away from purely alphabetic abbreviations. In the US, you might drive at "60 mph"; in Canada, you would drive at "100 km/h" (but you'd pronounce it "clicks"). –  bye Mar 3 '11 at 8:07
    
+1 for simple answer. –  Alex Mar 3 '11 at 8:13
    
Although here in supposedly metric Canada, I still hear "Miles per Gallon" or MPG more often than anything else. What's the word from the UK, OZ, and other English peaking countries? –  mickeyf Mar 3 '11 at 14:49
2  
FYI, the General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1979 adopted the additional symbol L for "liter" to avoid any confusion with the numeral 1. This has become the preferred symbol in North America. –  ghoppe Mar 3 '11 at 18:35

Its kilometers per liter. Like 40km average that means in a liter vehicle has ability to run 40 km. (Indian measurement)

share|improve this answer
1  
km/l is the standard measure in Denmark, too. –  Rasmus Faber Mar 3 '11 at 12:02

From Wikipedia's page on fuel efficiency:

In the context of transport, fuel economy is the energy efficiency of a particular vehicle, and is given as a ratio of distance travelled per unit of fuel consumed. Fuel economy is expressed in miles per gallon (mpg) in the USA and usually also in the UK—there is sometimes confusion as the imperial gallon is 20% larger then the US gallon so that mpg values are not directly comparable. In countries using the metric system fuel economy is stated in kilometres per litre (km/L) in the Netherlands, Denmark and in several Latin American or Asian countries such as India, Japan, South Korea1, or as the reciprocal ratio, "fuel consumption" in liters per 100 kilometers (L/100 km) in much of Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Litres per mil are used in Norway and Sweden.

share|improve this answer
3  
litres per mil (Norway/Sweden) - Of note is that a mil is a "Scandinavian mile" ~ 10 km. –  amphetamachine Mar 3 '11 at 6:55
4  
@amphetamachine: Actually, one 'mil' ("Scandinavian mile") is exactly 10 km. –  Guffa Mar 3 '11 at 8:37

Here in Germany, it's measured in how many litres of fuel you need to drive 100km (presumably in a particular fashion and with a particular load).

I know that Volkswagen were very proud about 10 years ago when they claimed that the production version of the VW Lupo was the first "3L car" – i.e., used 3L (or less) to go 100 km.

share|improve this answer

In the UK we use miles per gallon (m.p.g.), but bear in mind that while our miles are the same as American ones, our gallons are bigger.

share|improve this answer
1  
We're in the absurd situation of buying our fuel in litres, but measuring its consumption in m.p.g., because no UK government has had the courage to pursue wholeheartedly the complete adoption of metric measurements. –  Barrie England Mar 5 '12 at 11:54

Once when visiting Canada, I saw a TV commercial for a car, advertising its fuel efficiency in miles per (imperial) gallon. This surprised me, because Canada is (for the most part) a metric country: maps, road signs, and odometers give distance in kilometers, and fuel is sold by the liter!

share|improve this answer
    
Yes; fuel is sold in litres in Canada, but people commonly refer to miles per gallon. I've never heard anyone talk about litres per hundred kilometres or anything to that effect. Likewise, I find that nobody here measures their height in centimetres; it's all feet and inches. A curious holdover, perhaps? –  user22138 Jul 19 '13 at 19:05

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.