Canada announces plans to implement “a made-in-Canada” fuel-economy standard that achieves “at minimum” new rules recently established in the U.S.

“We made a commitment to implement fuel-consumption regulations for the 2011 model year that are benchmarked against a stringent, dominant North American standard, and we are keeping our word,” Lawrence Cannon, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, says in statement.

New corporate average fuel economy standards signed into law in the U.S. late last year call for a combined fleet average of 6.7 L/100 km (35 mpg) by 2020, although that bogey will differ slightly among auto makers depending on their sales mix.

“We welcome the U.S. goal, but are committed to developing made-in-Canada standards,” Cannon says.

Canada intends to immediately begin drafting fuel-economy regulations in consultation with its automotive industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, provinces and territories and other stakeholders, with a legislative deadline of late 2008.

Canada’s combined new vehicle fleet average fuel economy in 2006 was about 8.6 L/100 km (27 mpg).

Consultations close March 15, 2008.

jamend@wardsauto.com