Shipments of low-emission vehicles soar

Domestic shipments of automobiles defined as “low pollution” vehicles by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association posted a 2.71-fold jump in fiscal 2001 from the previous year, coming in at 2,390,762 units, the association said Friday.

With domestic sales of automobiles as a whole coming in at 5,818,867 vehicles, this figure represents about 41 percent of the total, the association said.

Meanwhile, shipments of vehicles categorized as low-emission vehicles by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry rose 173 percent to 2,358,283 units.

Shipments of vehicles categorized by the ministry as “super low-emission” vehicles logged a 13.5-fold jump to 242,445 units, the group said.

The super low-emission category covers vehicles with emissions that are 75 percent lower than government-mandated standards set in 2000, while the low-emission category relates to vehicles whose emissions are at least 25 percent lower than the 2000 standards.

Automakers are increasing their production of low-emission vehicles because they are subject to lower taxes.

Eighty percent of Nissan Motor Co. autos set to be released on the market in the current fiscal year are super low-emission models.

Shipments of hybrid cars, which are propelled by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor, rose 94 percent to 25,111 units in fiscal 2001, while those of vehicles powered by natural gas climbed 65 percent to 4,028 units, the association said.