The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Japan will implement regulations requiring automakers to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles by about 20% by 2015.
Japan has decided that the regulations—which would be the world’s strictest, and may be introduced by spring 2007—are required to meet greenhouse has reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
According to the paper, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Transport will set up a committee as early as this month to put together a draft proposal for gasoline and diesel vehicles, including hybrid-electric models.
The government is considering demanding 20-25% reductions over fiscal 2004 levels by fiscal 2015. As a result, the mileage of cars that are currently required to travel 15km on a liter of gas [6.67 l/100 km or 35.3 mpg US] would have to be upgraded to more than 18km per liter [5.56 l/100km or 42.3 mpg US]. The tougher standards would apply to vehicles that are sold in fiscal 2015. Currently owned autos would not be subject to the new rules.
Current Japan’s fuel economy regulations require that all automakers improve the fuel economy of gasoline vehicles by about 23% by fiscal 2010 from the level in fiscal 1995. Targets are set according to weight. The new rules would increase the number of categories for passenger cars to 15-20 from nine at present, according to the report.