China Is Said to Plan Strict Gas Mileage Rules
The new plan would require automakers in China to improve fuel economy by an additional 18 percent by 2015, said An Feng, a leading architect of China’s existing fuel economy regulations who is now the president of the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, a nonprofit group in Beijing.
The plan is going through the interagency approval process, with comments sought from automakers, and is scheduled for release early next year, he said.
Many in the government see a strategic and geopolitical need to reduce China’s reliance on oil imports, the official said. China was self-sufficient in oil until 1995, but soaring demand means that China now imports nearly three-fifths of its oil, much of it from potentially unstable countries along sea lanes controlled by the United States Navy.
Others in the government are concerned about limiting toxic air pollution and see reductions in the total combustion of gasoline as one way to achieve this. Still other officials are worried about the potential for international efforts to limit China’s emissions of global warming gases, or view greater fuel economy as a way to increase the competitiveness of Chinese car exports.