Abstract Fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHVs) have become one of the most promising candidates for future transportation due to current energy supply problem and environmental problem. Fuel economy is an important factor in FCHVs. In order to properly evaluate the fuel economy of an FCHV, the initial battery state of charge (SOC) and the final battery SOC have to be identical so that the effect of the battery energy usage on the fuel economy is neglected. In the simulation or in the real driving, however, the final battery SOC is usually different from the initial battery SOC, and the final battery SOC often depends on the power management strategy. To consider the difference between the two battery SOC values, the concept of equivalent fuel consumption is presented by two methods. One is based on the relationship between delta SOC and delta fuel consumption, and the other is based on the optimal control theory. Two rule-based power management strategies for an FCHV are presented, and for each strategy, the fuel economy is evaluated based on the two methods. The characteristics of the two methods are discussed and compared, and the superior one is selected based on the comparison.