Chosun Ilbo. Beginning in August, South Korea will impose a fuel-efficiency rating scheme on new vehicles as part of efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The system that the Korea Energy Management Corp. unveiled Monday grades a vehicle’s fuel efficiency on a scale of one to five, five being the highest, to provide car buyers with more information on gas consumption and emissions.
The corporation said a minivan that runs 15 kilometers on a liter of diesel fuel or LPG will be given the lowest grade of one, thus ending the contradictory notion that larger vehicles boast higher fuel efficiency.
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.
However, as a report from the ICCT noted (earlier post), the market share of vehicles with larger engine size has been gradually increasing since recent years, while the standards remain static from 2006 and thereafter. South Korea’s fleet average fuel economy is thus projected to decline over the next five years.
To counter this, the government says that it will tighten the fuel economy standards by about 15% (earlier post). In the absence of stricter standards, the rating system is a demand-side oriented measure.