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Japan Proposes Tougher Fuel Economy Regulations; Passenger Car Fuel Economy to Increase 23.5% by 2015

Nikkei. Automakers in Japan would be required to boost the fuel efficiency of their passenger cars by an average of 23.5% by fiscal 2015 under new regulatory proposals unveiled Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in partnership with the Ministry of Transport. (Earlier post.)

Under the proposal, passenger car fuel efficiency will need to increase from an average 13.6 km/liter (7.35 l/100km or 32 mpg US) in 2004 to 16.8 km/liter (6 l/100km or 40 mpg US)—an increase of 23.5%.

For cars in the lowest weight class of 600kg or less, 2015 target consumption is 22.5 km/liter (4.4 l/100km or 53 mpg US); for cars in the top weight class of 2,271kg and above, 2015 target consumption is 7.4 km/liter (13.51 l/100km or 17.4 mpg US).

The Ministries are soliciting opinions from the public before finalizing the plan and revising the regulations, which are slated to go into effect next spring.

Japan first introduced fuel-efficiency regulations in fiscal 1999, mandating automakers to boost mileage some 23% by fiscal 2010 compared to levels in fiscal 1995. Most automakers have already met that goal.

Currently, separate rules govern diesel and gasoline vehicles, while the new regulations will band them together. The requirements will be set according to 16 different categories depending on the vehicle’s weight. The new rules will also modify how fuel economy is gauged to include heavy traffic and other driving conditions. Because the new method will more accurately reflect fuel efficiency under actual driving conditions, published figures are expected to decline 10-20%.

Proposed Average Fuel Economy
Vehicle class 2004 value 2015 est. value % change
Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Passenger cars 13.6 km/liter
7.4 l/100km
32.0 mpg US
16.8 km/liter
6.0 l/100km
39.5 mpg US
Small buses 8.3 km/liter
12.0 l/100km
19.5 mpg US
8.9 km/liter
11.2 l/100km
21.0 mpg US
Light cargo trucks 13.5 km/liter
7.4 l/100km
31.8 mpg US
15.2 km/liter
6.6 l/100km
35.8 mpg US



Bike Commuter Dude

In the Japanese language, the word "crisis" is represented with two characters: "danger", and "opportunity". Perhaps that sheds some light on why they are so anxious to adopt new technology, and improve what they already have. As a matter of fact, the total amount of energy used in Japan for all reasons (residential, commercial, transportation), does not even equal the amount of energy "wasted" in the United States (fr. The Hydrogen Economy by Jeremy Rifkin).

Bike Commuter Dude

Correction: I gave both the wrong book and the wrong author. The correct citation is:
Romm, Joseph J. The Hype about Hydrogen: fact and fiction in the race to save the climate
Washington [D.C.]: Island Press, 2004.


Please give the roomaji for the Japanese word for crisis.


"Kiki" (危機)

hampden wireless

Wow. Their light cargo trucks are getting 31.8mpg? Thats almost the same as thier cars!

Their busses get 2x the mpg of the average hummer h2. Kinda amazing!


I assume that all of those figures are from the Japanese 10-15 mode?

I believe those ratings are generally around 25% below the US ratings. [PDF, p.18]

Harvey D.

Regardless of the rating system used, the percentage reduction is interesting and they will probably to much better.


I think it's "Anxiety" not "crisis". It'd say it fits either way. Of course this is helpful but doesn't really solve much because the rate of increase in miles driven will, I bet, outstrip the rate of FE increases. Unless we implement something completely different we're not really solving much.

Sid Hoffman

Also keep in mind vehicles roughly the size of a Scion xB are considered cargo trucks over there.

kent beuchert

I'd say this is after the barn door was closed. By 2015, anyone who thinks gasoline will still be used to power cars is living in OZ. These are meaningless, politically correct gestures whose most likely effect will be to encourage drivers to keep their existing cars, killing their auto industry and their economy. Nice move Japan, Still practicing hari kari, aren't you? Notice that the Japanese government isn't spending any of their money to accomplish anything.


You mean Hara Kiri?

I must be living in OZ because I see no way possible that the entire automotive landscape will drastically change in 8 years such that gasoline will not be used as a fuel. In 8 years I'd be surprised if the total numbers of gasoline powered vehicles in the US auto fleet did not increase over present day levels (not percentages, but total numbers).


Gasoline may still be used as a transportation fuel in 2030. It might be expensive and scarce, but probably will be used. Look at predictions 30 years ago, you may find many of them were way off the mark.

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