Infiniti LE Electric Car Not A Priority Right Now

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 26

2014 Infiniti LE Concept

2014 Infiniti LE Concept

Infiniti LE Concept

Infiniti LE Concept

It remains merely a concept for now, but hopefully not for long.

That’s the latest word on the fate of the Infiniti LE luxury electric car, which has never been given the production green light despite being first shown 3 years ago and wheeled out on several occasions since then.

As USA Today reports:

“The Infiniti LE, which was shown in concept form at the New York Auto Show three years ago, had been due in showrooms last year. But it never showed up, a project put on hiatus because of other, higher priorities, according to Nissan officials.”

“We have to be a little pragmatic,” said Michael Bartsch, Infiniti’s vice president for the Americas, speaking last week at a preview event for the new Q60 Concept at Detroit’s contemporary art museum. For the moment, Infiniti needs to concentrate on high-volume segments, like the performance coupe arena where Q60 would fit.”

Why hasn’t the LE been given the production nod?  Word is that Infiniti is waiting for the next-generation battery technology that we’ll find in the upcoming 2017 Nissan LEAF.  That LEAF is expected to double the range of the current LEAF.  We believe that the Infiniti LE will launch just prior to the next-generation LEAF.  So, late 2016 sounds right to us, just in time to beat the Tesla Model 3 to market and to challenge it on all fronts.

Source: USA Today

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26 responses to "Infiniti LE Electric Car Not A Priority Right Now"

  1. Mike says:

    2017, wow, TESLA has two more years with no competition, and more innovations to deliver.

    It might be this car is back on the drawing board.

    1. pjwood says:

      nissan has two more years for LG Chem to do all their R&D for them, or some other functioning auto co. they have Leaf, but otherwise mix right in with the other companies, happy to bannish electric drive to the budget segments. tisk, tisk.

  2. The more the merrier. We could see the Chevy Bolt (hopefully with a new name!) and the 2nd gen Leaf, and the Tesla Model 3, and maybe a VW, possibly a Kia – all in the mix two or three years from now.

  3. Ryan says:

    It hasn’t shown up because Nissan still doesn’t have a viable production 200 mile battery.

    1. Tftf says:

      Nor does anyone else at the moment, battery prices have to come down to enable long-range EVs (150-200 miles or above) at below $50k.

      It wouldn’t make sense for Infiniti to launch an EV before the next Leaf launch (and have inferior batteries compared to the Leaf 2).

      1. Robb Stark says:

        Tesla has a viable 200 mile battery.

        1. Brian says:

          This. Tesla has embarrassed Nissan/Infiniti. Infiniti would be a laughing stock if they released the LE with less than AT LEAST 150 mile range, preferably 200.

          Nissan didn’t build in enough room for that many cells. And I’m sure they didn’t budget for the weight either. Back to the drawing board.

        2. Breezy says:

          Not for an EV less than $50k, they don’t.

          1. Brian says:

            You don’t know that. Just because they aren’t building a $50k car doesn’t mean they can’t. If you take Elon Musk at his word, they could build one today. They don’t because they are production limited, so instead they stick to the much higher profit margin Model S.

            1. Breezy says:

              I imagine GM, Nissan and Tesla have designs and models that could enable a viable 200-mile battery for a sub-$50k car. So do I. 🙂 It doesn’t mean much unless it’s put into production.

  4. Infinity is a low volume brand, in Europe it’s close to nonexistent. It’s irrelevant for raising EV market share.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Quite right.

      The Leaf already outsells every model Infiniti produces. An Infiniti LE would only dilute the brand further, and would be priced in Tesla territory – not worth it.

  5. «”We have to be a little pragmatic,” said Michael Bartsch, … For the moment, Infiniti needs to concentrate on high-volume segments»

    «We believe that the Infiniti LE will launch just prior to the next-generation LEAF.»

    Current U.S. LEAF monthly sales vs. current Infiniti sales make the LEAF look like a higher volume vehicle. The LE with a 150+ mile range an competitive price will have much greater sales volume.

    Also, we have to wait and see if the e-Flow sports concept will ever see production. This is probably less of a priority as Infiniti realy needs a couple models with solid monthly sales to grow the brands market share.

    1. Lindsay Patten says:

      But aren’t lower priced vehicles usually higher volume than higher priced ones?

  6. eco Logical says:

    The styling of the new Leaf should be something similar to the Infiniti LE. Any SUV or CUV with a near vertical rear window creates a vacuum and subsequent drag. The rear wiper is a dead giveaway. Dust, dirt and grime collect on the back window when airflow is turbulent. Hatchbacks are Ok provided that the rear window is raked. Even without better batteries, styling could improve the Leaf’s range dramatically!

  7. kdawg says:

    Maybe the release date is in the name… “Infiniti”

  8. tedfredrick says:

    I hope somebody comes out with a 200 mile affordable car, this 70 mile range is getting annoying. I may have to get a Volt but don’t want the maintainance.

    1. Dave says:

      What maintenance? An oil change every two years or so?

      1. Brian says:

        That’s way too much work, Dave. You mean if I own the car for 10 years (a good run for most cars, especially in road-salt country), I will have had to do 5 oil changes? Forget it. I’ll stick with my gas car until a BEV can go 300 miles in the winter, with the heat, driving 80mph.

  9. ampzilla says:

    gas prices so low/ bev in trouble if they stay that way i bought my coda to save money
    on gas with the giving up on comfort/practicality
    not eco minded as much as im dollar minded

  10. EV says:

    Who wants an Infiniti?

  11. Breezy says:

    Must we bash every automaker on this site that isn’t named Tesla?

  12. Steven says:

    Apparently, no one has been knocking down their door demanding it.

  13. Lindsay Patten says:

    This seems to be pretty much the same timeline as Eric posted 4 months ago and Jay posted 6 months ago rather than a setback.

  14. Joesy Marry says:

    Too bad. If they could have built a 200 mile range version they may have competed well. But seems all electrics are not viable economically unless you lean on Federal credits and can charge (pun?) a premium like Tesla that may reach profitability in 2020!

  15. Cool Helmets says:

    I love concept cars but if they are never going to be released to to the public what is the point?