Nissan Exec Says Infiniti LE Delay is Necessary to Incorporate “Interesting Advances in Electric Technology”

4 years ago by Mark Kane 10

Infiniti LE Concept

Infiniti LE Concept

Infiniti LE Concept over wireless charging pod

Infiniti LE Concept over wireless charging pod

According to Automotive News Europe, the head of Nissan global planning, Andy Palmer, says that hold up on the Infiniti LE is for two reasons: more advanced charging (wireless) and battery technology.

First news of delaying the LE came about month ago from Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen, who suggested that the hold up was more about product priorities than technology.

Palmer now says that the electric Infiniti is “not significantly” delayed and that “It’s still within our mid-term plan.”  Furthermore, Palmer promises us that the delay does not mean that Nissan-Infiniti is losing interest in electric vehicles.  “Our heart is still in zero emissions,”says Palmer.

Palmer ensures us that the delay will lead to a better LE, one with more range and maybe even a reduced price.  Quoting Palmer:

“There are some interesting advances in electric technology we hadn’t anticipated when we showed the LE, which, by delaying a little bit, we can incorporate into the car.”

So, when will this enhanced Infiniti LE arrive?  We’re not so sure, but an optimistic projection of late 2015 seems reasonable for now.

The next question is: Will the Nissan LEAF eventually get the same enhancements as the upcoming Infiniti LE?

Source: Automotive News Europe

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10 responses to "Nissan Exec Says Infiniti LE Delay is Necessary to Incorporate “Interesting Advances in Electric Technology”"

  1. Josh says:

    Interesting advances in electric technology (active thermal battery management?)…

    1. Sam says:

      I’d be happy if it was that or a battery with more range.

    2. Rick Danger says:

      Josh, 😀

  2. Brian says:

    Great. Now we have two official explanations that are at odds with one another. I don’t have much faith for Nissan these days. And Andy Palmer doesn’t really have the best track record either.

    1. evnow says:

      What other explanation ? Both of them point to new battery tech.

  3. GeorgeS says:

    This article tells me that maybe there really IS a better and cheaper battery in the labs right now. That is what GM hints also.

    If Nissan could get 50% more range out of the leaf and offer a sport version with more zip that would work.

    1. David Murray says:

      I’ve been suspecting this for a while. I think GM and Nissan both have new chemistries that are in testing right now that probably offer 50% or more extra capacity over what we have now. But they aren’t going to be dumb enough to come right out and say it. That would kill sales of current vehicles. The fact that they delayed the Infinity might mean they are more sure of the new battery tech now, enough to make changes to the final design to incorporate these changes. Either that, or they just need more time to get a battery production plant up and going for the new type of battery before they start building the cars.

    2. Josh says:

      My take is the battery tech is late or had a problem scaling to manufacturing. There was reason to believe that most of the Smyrna battery plant was tooling up for this battery module. Jay wrote about this 6 – 12 months ago (on my phone and don’t have the time to find the piece).

      The only reason I can figure to stop that tooling process is someone made the call to reengineer with active thermal management. This is purely my speculation, so go ahead and shoot holes in my theory.

    3. Rick Danger says:

      Maybe they could even drive the rear wheels while they’re at it, like a proper sports sedan.

  4. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Necessary to not suck so hard when compared to Tesla Model S..
    Although I very much doubt that they can modify that dull witted car into something that compares even a little to the Tesla. As much as I’m not a fan of Tesla’s 2.1ton weight it’s nice that the mindless car makers are being confronted with their soul crushingly boring and incompetent engineering.
    Maybe it’s time to realize that letting crazy manga japanese people design cars is a faux pas.
    The Leaf looks like a fish (an ugly one) and this one looks like a Liberace balloon.

    If an Audi designer committed that they would put him in a gas chamber 🙂