Chosun Ilbo. Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said that it will tighten fuel economy standards for cars by 15% by 2012 compared to 2004, based on an agreement made with the auto industry in late 2005.
Automakers are making efforts not only to enhance fuel efficiency by reducing the size of cars and improving engines and transmissions but also by developing eco-friendly diesel and hybrid vehicles. But the industry predicts that research and development efforts will increase production costs, which in turn will increase car prices.
In 2004, South Korea replaced its voluntary, unenforced standard with a mandatory program that started in 2006 for domestic vehicles and 2009 for imports. The standards are 12.4 km/l (29 mpg US) for vehicles with engine displacements of 1.5 liters or less and 9.6 km/l (22.6 mpg US) for vehicles with engine displacements of more than 1.5 liters. Credits can be earned to offset shortfalls.
A 15% increase would thus put the standards at about 14.3 km/l (33.6 mpg US) for the smaller displacement category and 11 km/l (25.9 mpg US) for the larger.