Friday, January 30, 2004

Not good enough?

Improvements may not help Japan meet Kyoto targets
Japan predicts automobiles will emit about 296 million tons of CO2 in 2010 and wants the auto industry to reduce emissions by 20.6 million tons. To reach that goal, government officials are encouraging the development of more hybrid gasoline-electric cars and fuel cell-powered vehicles. In total, Japan wants to see 10 million "environmentally friendly vehicles," or EFVs, on the road by 2010, Nakayama said.

Stronger fuel economy regulations will require a 3.4 percent improvement in fuel economy by 2010 for gasoline powered vehicles and a 10.5 percent improvement by 2005 for diesel-powered vehicles. Meanwhile, the government is also setting stringent emissions standards for some heavy-duty vehicles, drastically reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). To help sell cleaner vehicles, the government is subsidizing programs for municipalities and private companies, Nakayama said, along with providing tax incentives and low-interest financing to consumers.

That just shows the magnitude of the effort that needs to be put in order to reduce fuel consumption of automobiles. The problem in the U.S. is much more daunting.


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