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/Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles
Hybrid vehicles are powered by a combination of a gasoline engine and electric motor. Their main advantage is superior environmental performance marked by low emissions of not only CO2 but also nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons (HC). In 2008, Nissan developed a parallel hybrid system in which a motor used for both propulsion and regeneration is connected directly to the engine and the transmission using two clutches. The system also incorporates a high-power lithium-ion battery. In November 2010, Nissan launched Huga Hybrid for a sales in Japanese market, adopting the system and achieving fuel economy of 19.0 km/L (10-15 mode).
Also, we are moving forward with research and development on plug-in hybrid vehicles that do not emit CO2 when operating in its electric-only range.
Electric vehicles (EVs)
Since its debut in December 2010, more than 51,400 drivers* around the world have chosen Nissan LEAF. Nissan LEAF holds the position of No. 1 selling EV in the world. Drivers are making their personal contribution to helping create a sustainable zero-emission society by putting no CO2 into the atmosphere with their choice of Nissan LEAF.
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.
With the addition of the 100% electric e-NV200 commercial vehicle and a luxury Infiniti model, we will have a total of four EVs on the global market by 2014.
- * 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).