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Japan Ministries propose light commercial vehicle fuel economy standards for 2022

In a policy update, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reports that Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) have finalized new proposed fuel economy standards for light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles with gross vehicle weights less than 3.5 tonnes. MLIT and METI will use the proposal as a basis for revisions to relevant laws and regulations, with a target for completion in spring of 2015.

The new standards will require that the fuel economy of model year 2022 light and medium commercial vehicles sold in Japan average 17.9 km/L (42 mpg US, 5.6 l/100 km) in 2022, compared to 14.2 km/L (33.4 mpg US, 7.0 l/100 km) in 2012. This represents a 26% increase in fuel economy from 2012 values, and a 23% increase from the 2015 standard of 14.5 km/L (34.1 mpg US, 6.9 l/100 km).

Icct
Global comparison of light truck/light commercial vehicle fuel economy standards (in mpg or km/L under CAFE test cycle). Source: The ICCT. Click to enlarge.

The fuel economy of individual models will be measured on the JC08 test cycle, with a 25% and 75% weighting for cold- and hot-start fuel economy, respectively.

Per-model targets will be developed as a function of body and fuel type, transmission, and curb mass. The number of standard bins will be reduced from 77 under the 2015 standards to 38 under the revised standards.

Individual companies will have to demonstrate compliance via a corporate average fuel economy approach with harmonic averaging. Manufacturers can use the production of plug-in hybrid and battery electric commercial vehicles to comply with their corporate average targets, with some limitations.

When a company produces commercial vehicles with alternative drive trains, the corporate average fuel economy for its diesel and gasoline vehicles alone must be at least 90% of its overall regulatory target imposed by the standard. Provisions for labeling are also outlined in the final report.

MLIT and METI estimate that the transport sector is currently responsible for 23% of energy use in Japan, a little over a third of which is linked to freight transport. In total, motor vehicles are responsible for 16% of CO2 emissions in Japan.

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