Report: Japan is preparing new fuel economy standards for carmakers

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 30, 2011

To meet the new standards that the government is drawing up, automakers in Japan would have to raise their fuel economy by 24.1% by fiscal 2020, according to the Nikkei business.

It’s likely that these guidelines will be implemented as soon as next spring and that improvement will be measured from a base year of fiscal 2009. Nikkei added that the standards will apply to average fuel economy for the entire vehicle lineup of the automaker.

When it comes to gasoline engines, the fuel economy benchmark will increase from an average of 16.3 km per liter in fiscal 2009 to 20.3 km in fiscal 2020.

The paper added that before preparing a final draft, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Transport Ministry will open up the proposals to public comment on Friday at the earliest. The electric cars and plug-in hybrids use external power sources so they will be exempted from the requirements.

However, hybrids such as Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius will have to comply with the guidelines since it will be easier for carmakers that have fast-selling hybrids to reach the higher target. The Nikkei said that these new standards are meant to bring down greenhouse gas emissions to a new level and to pressure the auto industry to develop new and better designs.

The paper also said that as fuel-economic cars become more popular globally, these standards will raise the competitiveness of the Japanese automakers as there will be incentives that focus the business resources on fuel-efficient models.

Topics: japan

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