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Japanese automakers will most likely need to boost their fleetwide fuel economy by 24.1 percent by 2020 to meet stringent standards being drawn up by the government, reports the Nikkei business daily.

This isn't like the recent CAFE increase in the U.S. The tentative regulations, which could take effect in spring of 2012 and measure total improvement from 2009's baseline fuel economy ratings, will apply to an automaker's entire lineup of vehicles, no exclusions, says the Nikkei. For gasoline-powered vehicles, the fuel economy benchmark will reportedly rise from an average of 16.3 kilometers per liter (38.3 miles per gallon U.S.) in 2009 to 20.3 km/l (47.7 mpg U.S.) in 2020. Some reports says that automakers who don't meet these goals will have to pay a million-yen fine ($13,070 U.S. at today's exchange rates), but how this would exactly work was not explained.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in conjunction with the nation's Transport Ministry, will open up the fuel economy proposals for public comment before issuing final standards.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone know how the Japanese factor in electric vehicles, when it comes to computing average fuel economy? I know in the US, the CAFE figure for electric vehicles is computed by taking the energy consumption in the standard fuel economy test, and figuring 33.7 kw-hr of electricity = 1 gallon gas. Under the CAFE tests, the Nissan Leaf (for example) is rated at 142 mpg-e, which means that if batteries come down in price enough, meeting economy standards like this will be trivial.
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dreadcthulhu01
        In Japan, they don't count electric or plug-in vehicles toward their fuel economy average at all. They also don't give any technology or alt fuel credits. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/18/us-japanautofuel-idUSTRE77H6E720110818 The Japanese fuel economy standard is purely based on the fuel economy their cars get. Japan has other incentives for electric vehicles, rather than confusing fuel economy averages.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Jesus.. Kei cars are already super common there. I guess you do what you gotta do. America will start making desperate moves as such when our wells are truly tapped.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        We complain about being addicted to imported oil but places like Japan import about 99% of their oil. It is virtually ALL imported. That is a serious strategic/economic problem. Hence a rich nation that drives tiny little cars.
          Noz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          As usual you sound like a complete douche.....no surprise there.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Um..without wishing to sound racist, Japan also has smaller people and a more compact lifestyle. The original Mini, was a remarkable vehicle, as was the larger 1100 version. These vehicle could seat 4 or 5 people respectively in Kei size exterior proportions. Sir Alexander Issigonis deigned these vehicles with fuel comsumption figures in the 40+ mpg, in the mid-1950's. The 1100, was almost Tardis-like. The exterior was sub-compact, while the interior easily matched the larger compacts of that time . (Even the luxury version).
          Kai F. Lahmann
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Every rich nation except the USA uses small cars.
        nbsr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        These Kei cars are heavier than some of '80-'90s saloon cars, so the target should be easy to achieve even in 2012. *If they only want.*
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      First, no one uses km/liter. It's x liter / 100km. Secondly, how can the fine only be $13k ? Is this a fine per vehicle? Otherwise it would be ridiculously small.
        Unni
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        japan, india etc uses km/liter. Read more :-)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Scandinavia uses km/l
      • 3 Years Ago
      Watch out when reading Japanese numbers for fuel efficiency. CelloMom did some research for her blog and found that in Japan the Toyota Prius is said to get 30.4 km/liter (71mpg) according to the new and stricter JC08 standard; according to their older 10.15 standard it was 35 km/l (83mpg). Whoa. The US EPA, which has cleaned up its standard in 2008, reports a mileage of 51 / 48 mpg (cty/hwy). (Look it up at http://toyota.jp/prius/index.html - ignore the Japanese text; under the nice big photo find the box that says "10.15" and "38.0 - 35.5 km/l" )