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Fuel efficiency standard may affect car prices

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- As the government adds regulations to demand higher vehicle fuel efficiency, some domestic car models' price tag may increase by NT$50,000 to reflect the added costs of improvements in gas mileage.

The Bureau of Energy (BOE) recently passed an amendment to the Fuel Economy Standards and Regulations on Vehicle Inspection and Administration. The new regulation follows a standard adopted in Europe regulating vehicles' energy consumption in an effort to strive for carbon reduction.

Standard fuel efficiency is divided into 16 classes under the new regulation, ranging from 7.2 kilometers per liter to 19.2 kilometers per liter. Vehicles with worse fuel efficiency will be banned from being sold.

According to local newspaper Apple Daily, the BOE has investigated more than 10 vehicle brands on the market, and more than half were found to fail the fuel efficiency standard.

According to the paper, several models such as Ford Focus, Camry, Lancer, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, Subaru Forester and Volkswagen have a fuel efficiency that does not meet the standard.

The government declined to comment on the findings, however, saying that car manufacturers have three years to make the needed improvements as the new regulation does not take effect until 2017.

Car analysts said the new rule would not make much of an impact on imported vehicles. However, for domestic vehicles, added parts and accessories to improve fuel efficiency is estimated to cost NT$40,000-NT$50,000 per car, which may affect their price tags.

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