Energy / Climate Change

February 5, 2004


Low-Emission Vehicles Exceed the 5.7 Million Mark

Keywords: Chemicals Energy Conservation Government Transportation / Mobility 

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) reported on December 9, 2003 that the number of registered low-emission vehicles (LEVs) reached 5.75 million as of the end of September 2003, accounting for about 11.4% of all vehicle ownership.

Fuel efficient vehicles that contain fewer harmful substances in their exhaust qualify as LEVs. Currently, five types of vehicles are designated as LEVs, namely, electric vehicles, methanol-fueled vehicles, CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and fuel-efficient, low-emission gasoline-fueled vehicles.

LEVs are classified into three grades according to their emission of particulate matters, nitrogen oxide (NOx), formaldehyde, etc. The emissions are measured and compared with the current exhaust regulation values for each type of vehicle. Cars with emissions reduced by 25% or more but less than 50% are certified as "good: low-emission"; those with emissions reduced by 50% or more but less than 75% are classified as "excellent: low-emission"; and those with emissions reduced by 75% or more are classified as "outstanding: low-emission." LEV-certified cars have a sticker that indicates the car's grade.

The rate of LEVs among newly registered cars was 21.1% in the latter half of FY2000 (October 2000 to March 2001), but tripled to 64% in the first half of FY2003 (April 2003 to September 2003), which means that two out of three newly registered vehicles were LEVs. The sales of LEVs began growing as a result of the automobile green tax system MLIT introduced in FY2001. If this trend continues, it is likely that the target of 10 million LEVs by 2010 can be achieved some years in advance.

Posted: 2004/02/05 11:45:20 AM
Japanese version