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Nissan Will Begin Bio-ethanol Trials in Japan

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Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that it will begin bio-ethanol trials through its participation in the Tokachi E10 project. The project, the first of its kind in Japan, aims to test the feasibility of E10 fuel, which contains 10% bio-ethanol mix. Early trials will be conducted in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido, beginning April*1.

Nissan is the first automaker in Japan to come forward with an E10 vehicle fully compliant with the safety, environment and technical guidelines issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The Murano E10 is officially recognized as Japan's first Ministry-authorized E10 vehicle.

The Murano E10, authorized by the Minister of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport

Within the scope of the Tokachi project, Nissan will support research related to the E10 engine's combustion efficiency and exhaust emissions. Vehicle performance data collected will further the development of E10 bio-ethanol powertrains and allow the engineers to identify key areas for improvement, in order to accelerate the commercialization of bio-fuels and E10 vehicles in the marketplace.

Tokachi Zaidan*2 is the recipient of a technology grant by the Ministry of Environment, aimed at addressing issues related to global warming and fossil fuel dependence, via the promotion of bio-fuels as an alternative energy source.

The Tokachi project uses substandard wheat and sugar beet to produce bio-ethanol, which helps minimize impact on food supplies. The project has the capacity to produce 15,000 kilo-liters of bio-ethanol to substitute up to one percent of the gasoline consumption in Hokkaido per annum.

Bio-ethanol is considered a renewable energy source because it is derived from plants such as sugar-cane or soybean, and thus does not add to the net CO2 level in the atmosphere*3, as opposed to fossil fuel. In the U.S. and Brazil, bio-ethanol has been commercialized for many years and is gaining wider acceptance worldwide.

Nissan has been offering the E85-compatible Titan full-size pickup and Armada SUV in the U.S.*4, and continues to develop and promote bio-fuel technology globally.

Its participation in the Tokachi project is in line with its Nissan Green Program 2010 mid-term environmental plan, aimed at developing new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources.

1
The project has been implemented from July 2, 2007 and will continue on until Mar 31, 2009. The on-road test will be conducted between April 1 and Dec 19, 2008.
2
23-9, Nishi 22-jo Kita 2-chome, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-2462
3
This is based on the "carbon neutral" concept. Plants capture CO2 through photosynthesis, hence the CO2 released by plant-based fuel will not add to the net CO2 level in the atmosphere.
4
Titan has been sold since model year 2005 and Armada since model year 2007.

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Nissan Will Begin Bio-ethanol Trials in Japan
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