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Nissan Announces Green Program 2010; Aggressive Plan Includes Clean Diesel, Fuel Efficiency, Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids and EVs

In Japan, Nissan Motor today announced its new mid-term environmental action plan, Nissan Green Program 2010 (NGP 2010).

Nissan is focused on three core areas related to the environment: reducing CO2 emissions; reducing exhaust emissions; and accelerating recycling efforts. The Nissan Green Program 2010 is specifically focused on reducing CO2 emissions both from our products as well as from day-to-day corporate activities.

Specific highlights of the plan include:

  • Incorporating CO2 reduction as one of the key management performance indicators.

  • Launch a “three-liter car” with a target of 2010; a gasoline-fueled car that runs 100km on three liters of fuel (78 mpg US).

  • Expand availability of Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) within the next three years.

  • Launch Nissan electric vehicle early in the next decade.

  • Develop Nissan’s original hybrid vehicle—not the Altima hybrid using Toyota technology—targeted for launch in FY2010.

  • Accelerate development of plug-in hybrid technology.

  • Reduce CO2 emissions from global manufacturing plants by 7% compared to 2005 by 2010.

The Nissan Green Program 2010 provides a transparent view of Nissan’s future commitments to all aspects of environmental management. Nissan Green Program 2010 has been designed to address immediate challenges as well as creating the foundation towards a long-term sustainable business model.

—Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer

In order to make reducing CO2 part of the major decision making processes of the company, CO2 has been added to internal management performance indicators. Previously, the indicators were quality, cost and time (QCT). Starting this fiscal year CO2 has been added to create QCT-C.

For the foreseeable future, Nissan believes that the internal combustion engine will continue to serve as the primary power source for vehicles. Under NGP 2010, Nissan will accelerate development of technologies that deliver improvements to the efficiency of conventional gasoline powertrains. For example, Nissan will develop powertrains that support the development of a “three-liter car”; a car that will travel 100 kilometers using just three liters of gasoline. This product’s launch is targeted at 2010, starting from Japan.

Looking ahead, Nissan identifies vehicles using electric motors with the power derived from batteries or hydrogen fuel cells as increasingly important and as the potential long-term replacement for the internal combustion engine. Nissan will continue to invest substantially into all aspects of electric vehicle technology.

Leading that program will be the development of a hybrid vehicle that uses Nissan original technologies for a FY2010 launch target. In the early part of the next decade, Nissan will launch the next-generation fuel cell vehicle with its own in-house developed stack and a battery-powered electric vehicle. At the same time, Nissan is preparing for a new company to develop, produce and market advanced lithium-ion batteries, a key technological component for its electric powertrains. In addition, it will accelerate development of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

At Nissan we believe that in order to develop vehicles that are truly environmentally friendly, we need to make significant advances in internal combustion technology while working on electrical power sources in parallel.

—Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Executive Vice President, Research and Development

Specific product and technology targets include:

  • Launch six vehicles in Japan that feature a package of environmental technologies. These models will exceed 2010 Japanese regulated fuel economy standards by 20%, emit 75% less exhaust emissions than 2005 standards and will be equipped with an advanced cabin air quality management system.

  • From FY2010 introduce gasoline engine technologies that will enhance fuel economy and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to diesel engine levels, including:

    • Combining direct injection gasoline engines with next generation turbocharger systems (four-cylinder engines)
    • Combining direct injection gasoline engine with Variable Valve Event & Lift System (VEL) for V6 and V8 engines.
  • Introduce a “three-liter car” with CO2 emission levels comparable to a hybrid vehicle with a target of 2010, starting in Japan.

  • Development of new clean diesel engines for Europe, Japan, North America and China, including:

    • Launch Euro four emission standard two-liter diesel engine in first half of 2007, starting in Europe.
    • Achieve the United States Tier2 BIN5 emissions standards
    • Achieve Post-New Long-Term exhaust emission regulations of Japan
  • Continual development and introduction of bio-ethanol capable vehicles:

    • All current Nissan gasoline engines are now capable to run on a blend of up to 10% bio-ethanol (E10)
    • Introduction of Armada FFV (E85) in the United States in 2007. This joins the Titan FFV (E85), which has been on sale since 2004.
    • Introduce 100% bio-ethanol fuel (E100)-ready model for the Brazilian market by 2009
  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) strategy: achieve one million sales of CVT-equipped vehicles by the end of FY2007. CVT’s emit up to 10% less CO2 than conventional automatic transmissions.

  • Accelerate development of electric powerplant technologies to lower costs and increase performance:

    • Develop HEV with Nissan’s original hybrid system to be launched in Japan and the United States with a target of FY2010.
    • Introduce Nissan electric vehicle starting in Japan during the early part of the next decade.
    • Accelerate development of plug-in hybrid technologies that can utilize grid power to recharge batteries in addition to the onboard charging system.
    • Introduce next generation fuel cell vehicle into the United States and Japan in the early part of the next decade. Key technology focus on advanced Nissan fuel stack system.
    • Preparation of a new company focused on the development, production and marketing of lithium-ion batteries.



Introduce a “three-liter car” with CO2 emission levels comparable to a hybrid vehicle with a target of 2010, starting in Japan.

I read on MSNBC that this car would go 60 miles on 3 liters of gasoline.

"..capable of traveling 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, using just three liters, or about three quarts, of gasoline. The company hopes to unveil a new model in Japan in 2010."


Now that everyone is noticing that Nissan has the lowest CAFE of any Japanese auto manufacturer...

and in other news Nissan has confirmed the 2008 Skyline for the US market will come equipped with a twin turbocharged 3.8L version of their V-6 engine with "more than 500hp" and AWD.


Well it all sounds positive. But I just heard a talk by Prof Andrew Frank (UC Davis) on the weekend. He says pretty convincingly that there is no technical reason why auto companies cannot make plug in hybrids with a 60 mile pure electric range right now for only 15-20% price premium (the cost of leather seats, GPS etc). His students have been doing it for years. Why do car companies keep saying they need more years of development?


Andy Frank has done some good work. He gets help from the auto industry donating cars and such, but the car companies are just not into it. They want to sell lots of cars and the old phrase from the 70s "Americans will never buy small cars" keeps coming back in one way or another. Corporations do what is in their interests and not the interests of the people or the country. So, if they can make higher profit margins selling big SUVs up until mid 2005, that is what they do.

Harvey D.

It seems that Nissan is having a major change of heart. Let's hope that all those good products will materialize.

A 3-Liter (ICE V-6?) at 33 Km/Liter represents about 2X to 3x the efficiency of their current ICE 2.5 or 3.5 cars and even much better than the current Toyota Hybrid V-6 SUVs.

This will start a welcomed major race for more efficiency. This is good news.


It isn't 3 liter displacement, it's 3 liters (0.8 gallons) of fuel consumed to go 100 km (61 miles). It works out to about 75 miles/gallon. Much of the world relates consumption to what's required to go a certain distance (100 km), not the distance per unit of volume (mpg).

Jack Rosebro

"I just heard a talk by Prof Andrew Frank (UC Davis) on the weekend. He says pretty convincingly that there is no technical reason why auto companies cannot make plug in hybrids with a 60 mile pure electric range right now for only 15-20% price premium"

This, I am afraid, is where I must side with the automakers. While it may be possible to produce a PHEV for only 15%-20% more than a comparable conventional hybrid, there are some market realities that are too often ignored by people who have never brought a mass-produced product - that requires billions of dollars of investment - to market. Here's a few:

1. There is no guarantee that the public will buy PHEVs for 20% more in enough numbers to justify the cost.

2. 15% - 20% price difference can probably be achieved only if the manufacturer builds their own batteries.

2. Waiting might be worth it if the government chips in to offset purchase price.

3. EPA issues regarding emissions testing of PHEVs have yet to be resolved.

4. No OEM can finalize the design of a powertrain without knowing the emissions test that it must pass

5. A PHEV battery would represent a component that could cost the manufacturer thousands to produce. A bad run of batteries would be a train wreck in warranty costs, and could hinder public acceptance of PHEVs for years.

I respect Andy Frank's work tremendously, but there are obstacles associated with mass-producing vehicles that research on one-off protoypes cannot duplicate. Given the realities of the market, I am impressed that the OEMs are moving as quickly as they are. And let's not forget that the Japanese tend to deny all knowledge of a product until just before it is released. Patience, everyone...

Rafael Seidl

I'm wondering if anyone actually ran this ambitious R&D smorgasboard by Carlos Ghosn. He has historically had a low opinion of the economics of hybrids et al. Nissan may be profitable but it won't sustain that in the long run if it can't decide on a technology strategy and stick with it. It is true, though, that Nissan's recent improvements in fleet average CO2 mitigation have been more modest even than BMW, Audi etc.

Marcus -

several car companies proved back in the 90s that it was technically feasible even back then to produce a BEV with low but adequate range and/or performance. Prices per unit of energy capacity and power rating have come down and the sophistication of the technology - especially control systems - has gone way up.

The main problems holding up the application of Li-ion batteries in series production vehicles at this point are related to warranty/customer satisfaction/resale values. The Prius is the only passenger car ever built in really large numbers that features a high voltage battery. Other manufacturers are leery of paying through the nose for patent royalties or licensing agreements and even more so of playing catch-up to Toyota in a segment that is highly sensitive to future changes in the price of oil in both directions. Big companies have to be risk-averse because even a handful of problem reports quickly lead to a slaes & marketing debacle.


Too little too late.

Toyota's prius will get 100MPG by then


When they say 3 liters of fuel they may be refering to plug hybrids. We all know that if you can plug them in you get more miles per gallon. A bit of word gamesmanship perhaps.

shaun mann

the three liter cars is a status symbol for the company just like the GT-R. but the GT-R will actually get bought and be desired.

neither will be the first. the diesel VW lupo (two sizes smaller than the golf/rabbit) was under 4 liters and there was a hybrid kei car in Japan that came in at 3l/100km. both sold in very low numbers and died quickly.

the GT-Rs have been enormously popular since 1990, though, consistently providing godzilla power, awd, and all-wheel steering.

can anyone blame Ghosn for favoring power over environment/economy when power can demand a price premium and environment/economy can't?


The Audi A2 and VW Lupo both had 3L (75 mpg) variants for a time, to cover an opportunity in German tax laws.

Jack wrote: "the Japanese tend to deny all knowledge of a product until just before it is released."

This is very much the case, and there will soon be some big stories on GCC!


Cars built by OEM peaked in fuel economy about 1986, and the fuel economy has been decreasing ever since that time. I drove a 1986 Buick Century with a four cylinder 2.5 liter fuel injected engine that ran fine, provided adequate power (150 Hp) and got about 36 MPG highway. Is it too much to believe that 20 years later we can build cars that get 72 MPG highway? Nope. But most of the cars I see get less than 40 MPG highway. If a "3 liter Car" (75 MPG highway) was modified to include plug-in capability with a 20 KWH battery, we could end our dependance and addiction to foreign oil.


If you think that they can't make an electric vehicle then listen to this. When i was about 10 years old, the year was 1983, a friend of mine invited me to his house. His father made him an electric go-cart. He used a car battery hooked up to a rear wheel electric motor. The thing was awesome. It ran for about one hour with a top speed of about 30 miles per hour(stop and go local street driving). The accelation was nothing short of amazing. Do the math people, this was 1983 with a single car battery. With lithium ion batteries, 40.2% efficient solar panels, efficient in-wheel motors, regenerative brake systems, nano techs, and all the other high tech crap out there, an electric vehicle at the cost of todays priced vehicles is possible and long over due. However a little thing called big business and oil companies fighting these electric vehicles from entering the market is the reason why EV1 was scrapped and nothing like it (affordable EVS) has followed!! Why won't they allow for Toyota to sell their Yaris diesel in the USA? Because it gets 65-70 MPG that's why. Oil companies have a huge influence on our economy and they(oil companies and our government) will not allow a quick transition to PEVS. But don't listen to me, listen to the auto makers say its not possible. Our government and oil companies have no influence upon the auto industry, right? :)

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