The Dernogalizer

May 28, 2009

China Raises MPG

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 4:30 pm
Tags: , , ,

A couple weeks ago, the US raised fuel economy standards, with the new standard for the average of the fleet being 35.5 mpg, and for passenger cars 39 mpg for 2016.  It appears China is about to step up its game and increase its fuel economy standards as well.  China already gets the equivalent of 35.8 mpg for the average of the fleet, and well be boosting that to 42.2 mpg in 2015.  This is still in the proposed planning stages, but once there is comment from Chinese automakers, it’s very likely this will be the new standard.  The article I linked above gives very good insight into how China’s system is different than ours, and what the effect of these new standards will likely be.  Also, one shallow criticism I have seen of the new US fuel economy standards is that people will be driving lighter, smaller cars, therefore risking our safety.  There are a lot of holes in that argument, and I noticed an article on a new study in Europe where smaller cars earned top safety marks.  I reject the notion that safety vs fuel economy is a choice we have to make.  Have your cake, eat it too(otherwards translated as getting off of foreign oil imports and combating global warming).  

” Worried about heavy reliance on imported oil, Chinese officials have drafted automotive fuel economy standards that are even more stringent than those outlined by President Obamalast week, Chinese experts with a detailed knowledge of the plans said on Wednesday.”

“Cars with small fuel-sipping engines are now subject to a 1 percent sales tax, while sports cars and sport utility vehicles with the largest engines are subject to a 40 percent sales tax. Stricter fuel economy standards have won support from four interest groups within the Chinese government, said a Chinese government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue.”

“Adjusting for these differences is difficult and controversial. Mr. An estimated that the average new car, minivan or sport utility vehicle in China already gets the equivalent of 35.8 miles a gallon this year based on the American measurement system of corporate averages and will be required to get 42.2 miles a gallon in 2015.”

“The details of China’s new fuel economy standards may favor domestic automakers at the expense of multinationals, several auto industry officials said. That is because the new rules call for the steepest increases in fuel economy — as much as 26 percent — for midsize and compact cars, market segments where multinationals are strong. Subcompacts, a market where domestic automakers are stronger, will be required to increase their gas mileage by as little as 9 percent compared with the existing standards, which took effect on Jan. 1.”

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