Opinions vary with regard to the levels at which average global temperature and CO2 concentration will need to be in the future. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is necessary to stabilize atmospheric CO2 at 450 parts per million or lower in order to keep average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius on a global basis. Based on this, we have calculated that "well-to-wheel" CO2 emissions for new vehicles-including "well-to-tank" emissions, from primary energy extraction through fuel refinement and delivery to customers, in which automakers are not involved, along with fuel consumption during operation-need to be reduced by 90% in 2050 compared with levels in 2000.
To help achieve this 90% reduction, we see the need to further improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines in the short term, and in the longer term, to bring about widespread use of electric and fuel-cell vehicles, making use of renewable energy sources to provide the power they need. We are bolstering our development of new technologies with this long-term scenario in mind. Specifically, we are concentrating our efforts on two pillars: Zero Emission, which involves widespread use of zero-emission vehicles in a holistic approach to promote a sustainable society, and PURE DRIVE, which reduces CO2 emissions by developing fuel-efficient internal combustion engine technologies and introducing them into the market.
Improve fuel efficiency
Demand for motor vehicles is expected to continue to rise along with mature market recovery and emerging market expansion. Efforts to create sustainable mobility will require the greatest possible improvements to the fuel efficiency of gasoline-powered engines. Nissan has placed three core technologies at the heart of its efforts in this area: the lithium-ion battery, the one-motor/two-clutch parallel hybrid system and the new-generation continuously variable transmission (CVT). We will be including these core technologies in a greater range of our new vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles (HEVs)
Hybrid vehicles, which run on a combination of a gasoline-powered engine and an electric motor, may allow improvement of fuel efficiency and considerable reductions in CO2 emissions. Nissan has developed a unique hybrid system using a high-output lithium-ion battery together with a single motor for both drive and regeneration, as well as an Intelligent Dual Clutch Control system in which two clutches are linked in parallel, one to the motor and one directly to the engine and transmission. The system was used for the Fuga Hybrid in 2010, Infiniti M Hybrid in 2011 and Nissan Cima in 2012. These hybrid vehicles deliver both fuel efficiency and powerful responsiveness.
Taking into account factors like roominess of the interior and vehicle use, Nissan will utilize the hybrid system best suited to each model. Fifteen new hybrid models are planned by fiscal 2016.
Electric vehicles (EVs)
Nissan LEAF is fitted with a high-capacity lithium-ion battery that allows a maximum driving range of up to 228 km on one full charge (as measured in JC08 Japan test mode). The Nissan-developed electric motor, inverter and dedicated EV platform provide powerful, smooth acceleration and excellent stability and control at all speeds. Quiet during operation, Nissan LEAF offers a unique driving experience, with advanced information technology systems that give a full range of convenient functions. The batteries that power EVs can also play a key role as energy-storage devices supporting large-scale reliance on renewable energy sources. As such, they have the potential to contribute to lowering carbon emissions throughout society as a whole, not just in the automotive sector.
Nissan plans to bring many new EVs to the market, including the all-electric commercial vehicle e-NV200 and luxury models under the Infiniti brand.
- * As of January 2013.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
The 2005 models of X-Trail FCEV (Japanese market)
Fuel cells derive electric energy directly from the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, and their sole emission is water, making them an exceptionally efficient and clean power source.
Nissan's aim is to develop a practical FCEV with superior environmental and energy-saving performance while maintaining ease of handling as an automobile, by employing elements of the various technologies Nissan has cultivated over the years (lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, high voltage electric system technology, control technology for hybrid vehicles, high pressure gas storage technology for compressed natural gas vehicles, and more).