There’s a common argument that the Western world is hurt by tougher environmental standards being imposed by governments on both sides of the Atlantic, while third world nations, some of the biggest polluters due to the sheer size of their populations, get off relatively scot free.
While one could answer that Western countries have a greater responsibility due to their wealth, it appears third world countries aren’t taking a backseat when it comes to environmental standards, with India now set to introduce tougher gas mileage standards this month.
India is going the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) route, just like the U.S., forcing automakers to improve the gas mileage of their cars and trucks from a current average of 33 mpg to 40 mpg by 2015. The U.S., meanwhile, has set a softer CAFE target of 34.1 mpg for cars and trucks by 2016.
India will also set a separate standard for diesel mileage, with the efficiency of new diesel cars and trucks being forced to rise from the current average of 36 mpg to 47 mpg by the same 2016 date.
Furthermore, the populous nation also plans to set even tougher standards for the year 2020. And, any automaker not meeting the deadlines will be faced with steep penalties.
India is not the only major developing nation adopting tougher environmental standards. China, too, has been focused on improving its green credentials, having in the recent past drafted its own gas mileage standards and publicly funding the development of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.