The announcement was made during a visit Vice President Joe Biden recently made to China. According to Reuters, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy will work with the Asian nation on its so-called China VI standards. These regulations will, among other things, require cars to have filters that capture particulate matter.
The legislation is slated to follow the China IV standards, which included diesel regulations that reduced engines' maximum-allowable sulfur content by a factor of seven, along with China V, which will bring sulfur content down by another 80 percent by 2017. Once China reaches that level, it will be lower than current US standards.
Just in time, too. Vehicle ownership in China is expected to jump to more than 200 million by the end of the decade, way up from 120 million estimated at the end of 2012. Earlier this year, a number of Chinese government entities pushed for fuel economy standards that would require a fleetwide 34 miles per gallon average by 2015 as part of the country's first-ever fuel-economy mandate.