Japan to tighten fuel economy standards by 25 percent

Just as the U.S. nears the conclusion of its fuel economy standards overhaul, Japan is set to do the same.

While the dust has yet to settle on the federally mandated fuel economy debate in the U.S., Japan is apparently undergoing an overhaul of its own in an effort to tighten fuel economy requirements.

As it stands now, Japan's federal standard is a fleet average of 16.3 kilometers per liter of fuel, a figure that will likely be increased to 20.3 km/l by 2020, according to the Nikkei via Reuters.

While the guidelines have yet to be fully approved, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Transport Ministry are all set to open their proposals for public feedback as early as tomorrow.

The new standards will not apply to electric cars or plug-in hybrids due to their alternative sources of energy, but standard hybrids will be forced to meet the new standards. As a result, automakers such as Toyota who sell vast amounts of gas-electric hybrids in Japan will likely have little trouble meeting the new standards.

Japan hopes that the new standards will help to reduce fuel consumption, reduce emissions and help push automakers to develop newer technologies and more efficient designs.

Theoretically, this may also help push Japanese automakers to develop more fuel efficient vehicles for global markets as well, potentially increasing exports for the nation.

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