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Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced April 3 that the Japanese-market version its third-generation Prius gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle has achieved the best fuel efficiency in the world for a mass-produced vehicle, as measured using the 10-15 test cycle of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). The achievement represents part of TMC's numerous and ongoing efforts to improve fuel efficiency through advanced vehicle development.
The new Prius, scheduled for launch in Japan in mid-May, has a fuel efficiency of 38.0 kilometers per liter, or 89.4 miles per gallon (CO2 emissions: 61grams per kilometer), thus exceeding by more than 25 percent the mandatory level required under the 2010 national standards. Also, under MLIT's newer JC08 test cycle, the vehicle has a fuel efficiency of 32.6 kilometers per liter, or 76.7 miles per gallon (CO2 emissions: 71grams per kilometer), thereby already meeting the 2015 national standards.
Emissions of both nitrogen oxides and non-methane hydrocarbons have also been reduced in the new Prius, with levels 75 percent lower than the 2005 standards under the MLIT's approval system for low-emission vehicles, which is currently the strictest standard in Japan for emissions. As such, under the Japanese government's taxation system for environmentally friendly vehicles, the new Prius is exempt from the automobile weight tax (until April 30, 2012), is exempt from the automobile acquisition tax (until March 31, 2012) and qualifies for a 50 percent reduction in the automobile tax (until March 31, 2010).