As global demand for more fuel-efficient automobiles heats up, the bar is being raised again in Japan. There the central government has proposed another increase in the automotive industry’s average fuel efficiency – a 23.5% rise above the fiscal-2010 target to 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km) for passenger cars by fiscal 2015, without a peep of protest from Japanese auto makers. In Japan, as elsewhere in the world, the move is tied intimately to the reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide, the ...

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