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    Japanese car giant joins race to develop decarbonised fuel-friendly vehicles

    ANN/THE JAPAN NEWS – Nissan Motor Co is the latest automaker to develop vehicles that run on decarbonised fuels through its participation in racing.

    On Saturday, the company unveiled a car to compete in a 24-hour endurance race at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture.

    The new car, based on the latest model of the firm’s Fairlady Z sports vehicle, is designed to be fuelled by used cooking oil and wood chips.

    Explaining the company’s motives for taking part in the race, Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said the carmaker aimed to develop a competitive engine compatible with decarbonised fuels, and by subjecting the car to tough race conditions, it was hoped a wide range of knowledge could be gained.

    Decarbonised fuels, also known as carbon-neutral fuels, primarily comprise biofuels made from corn and algae, and synthetic fuel made from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. CO2 emitted when the car is running has already been “collected” during the manufacturing process for “net zero” emissions.

    The Nissan Motor Co’s Fairlady Z is seen at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture. PHOTO: ANN

    Toyota Motor Corp and Subaru Corp. jointly developed Toyota’s GR86 and Subaru’s BRZ for a race in March, and are now working on a new joint sports car that utilises decarbonised fuels.

    Mazda Motor Corp has also raced a biodiesel-fueled car. Its fuel was supplied by Euglena Co, a producer of health food made from euglena microalgae. Overseas automakers are also keen to utilize biofuels.

    Carmakers are striving to develop electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles that run on hydrogen in a bid to decarbonise their fleets. The firms also see decarbonised fuels as “broadening their range of options”, according to a senior Subaru official.

    The basic structure of such vehicles, including the engine and tank, is the same as that of gasoline-powered vehicles, so extant parts and technologies can be used. This helps with maintenance at related facilities and boosts employment security.

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