Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. lays out a wide-ranging plan of action to “contribute to a sustainable mobile society” by addressing near-term and long-term challenges.

“Nissan Green Program 2010” includes a variety of measures the auto maker will take to improve the environmental friendliness of its vehicles and reduce the impact of its facilities on the environment, starting with a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“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,” Nissan says in a statement. “Previously, the indicators were quality, cost and time (QCT). Starting this fiscal year, CO2 has been added to create QCT-C.”

A 7% reduction in CO2 emissions from Nissan manufacturing plants has been set for the 2005-2010 period.

To improve the efficiency of its gasoline engines Nissan says to expect direct-injection technology to be mated to next-generation turbocharger systems in 4-cyl. engines by April 2010, and for V-6 and V-8 mills to have direct injection coupled with Nissan’s Variable Valve Event & Lift System (VEL).

The auto maker will debut VEL, which it says cuts CO2 emissions 10%, next year in Japan and North America.

Nissan vows by 2010 it will have a so-called “three-liter car,” which will have a range of 62 miles (100 km) using just three liters (0.8 gallons) of gasoline, initially to be sold in Japan.

Although Nissan says it believes the internal combustion engine will remain the primary source of power for vehicles in the foreseeable future, the auto maker says it continues to invest in “all aspects of electric vehicle technology,” confirming plans to sell a hybrid-electric vehicle using its own hybrid technology during fiscal 2010 in Japan and the U.S.

Nissan will begin sales next year in the U.S. of an HEV version of its Altima midsize sedan, using technology licensed from Toyota Motor Corp.

A 2L clean diesel engine will debut in Europe in first-half 2007, while China, Japan and North America will receive clean diesels in April 2010.

A next-generation fuel-cell vehicle with a Nissan-developed stack, as well as a battery-powered electric vehicle, will be launched early next decade, Nissan says. The auto maker will set up a company that will develop, produce and market lithium-ion batteries, which have a longer range than conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Nissan also promises to push forward plans for plug-in hybrid vehicles and within the next three years expand flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) availability. An Armada FFV joins the flex-fuel Titan in Nissan’s U.S. lineup for ’07.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com