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China increases 2020 fuel economy standard to 47 MPG

34 MPG by 2015
The U.S. fuel economy CAFE standards of 34.1 MPG by 2016 and 54.5 MPG by 2025 were an important step in the right direction after decades of near-stagnation, and other countries are starting to follow suit. The Chinese government, through 5 different official bodies, has announced that passenger cars in the country will have to reach an average fuel consumption of 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers by 2015 (equivalent to 34 MPG US) and 5.0 liters/100 km by 2020 (47 MPG US). And since China is now the biggest car market in the world, foreign carmakers will have to match at least that if they want to sell their vehicles in the country.

Hopefully by the 2020s electric cars will get about double the range for half the price and these goals will seem quaint, but for now they provide pressure for automakers to improve their vehicles and spend the R&D dollars necessary to keep moving forward on plug-in technologies.
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