Which is better? A national fleet fuel economy standard (think CAFE) of 42.2 mpg or 35.5. mpg? The former, right? Well, 42.2 is exactly what China has put in place and, from that one number, they seem to be beating the U.S. The trusty John O'Dell over at Green Car Advisor breaks down why we need to look beyond the numbers so that when the political debate on "why are the Chinese so far ahead of the U.S.?" gets going, we can answer the question with a bit of background.
Fact 1: China's current mpg standard of 36.8 mpg is higher than what we have in the U.S., so it's not as big a leap to 42.2.
Fact 2: The national fleet in China is mostly made up of small cars that are inherently more efficient than American land barges.
Fact 3: Fuel economy is used as a basis for taxes in China, so consumer demand for smaller cars exists in a way it doesn't here in the U.S.
Full details here.Yes, 42.2 is still better than 35.5, but now you know a little bit about why, and why the simple questions rarely have simple answers.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]
Photo by Smoking Permitted. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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