Infiniti LE Coming As A 2018 With 60 kWh NMC Battery?


Infiniti LE

Infiniti LE

Wireless Charging Expected To Be Standard On Infiniti LE

Wireless Charging Expected To Be Standard On Infiniti LE

Stemming from the earlier Reuters article—in which Nissan is seen dropping out of the battery business in favor of outsourcing batteries from LG Chem—comes this Infiniti LE-related development.

“An all-electric Tesla rival is still planned for Nissan’s premium Infiniti brand in 2018 with batteries as big as 60 kilowatt-hours (kWh), more than twice the energy capacity of the LEAF, which is due for replacement the previous year.”

As big as 60 kWh?  How will Infiniti stuff that capacity in the LE?  It seems that LG Chem may well supply its next-generation lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) batteries to Infiniti for the 2018 LE.  (we are pretty sure the quote misplaces MY for production year)

Increased energy density will allow for the relatively compact LE to boast up to 60 kWh of energy storage capacity.

Nissan recently update/vocalized plans for the LE by saying it would go on sale close enough to be counted as part of the company’s Power 88 program, so on or before March 31, 2017.

Additionally, these next-cell batteries are believed to have a price target of only $200 per kWh, according to Reuters.  At least that’s the price The Alliance (Renault-Nissan) is willing to pay, no matter if the batteries are bought from an outside source or manufactured by the automaker.

To sum it all up in bullet points:

  • Infiniti LE arrives as Model Year 2018 EV
  • Battery pack of up to 60 kWh
  • Next-gen lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) employed
  • Alliance price target is $200 per kWh

Source: Reuters

Categories: Infiniti

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110 Comments on "Infiniti LE Coming As A 2018 With 60 kWh NMC Battery?"

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‘Ghosn dropped extra battery sites planned for both alliance carmakers, leaving Nissan with the entire production capacity of 220,000 power packs through the NEC joint venture, AESC.

But that still far exceeds the 67,000 electric cars Renault-Nissan sold last year, and even the 176,000 registered to date. A pledge to reach 1.5 million by 2016 has been scrapped.

The coming hybrids will fill some of the excess plant capacity, although they use fewer power cells per vehicle. An all-electric Tesla rival is still planned for Nissan’s premium Infiniti brand in 2018 with batteries as big as 60 kilowatt-hours (kWh), more than twice the energy capacity of the Leaf, which is due for replacement the previous year.

Nissan is seeking to unwind a ruinous NEC contract that requires it to purchase electrodes for the full capacity of 220,000 Leaf-sized 24 kWh batteries regardless of actual sales, sources said. The joint venture partner’s consent is also needed to bring LG production or other activities onto the Tennessee or Sunderland sites, which together employ 500 workers.

The financial hit for Nissan “will depend on what else we can do with the plants”, with heavy charges likely if both are closed, one manager added.’

What a monumental pig’s ear!

Nissan has already taken their licks for over building and over hyping for bevs. If lg provides a path forward, its better to take the loss now, instead of later.

Toyota took its loss for the NUMMI plant and moved production to lower cost mississippi and texas plants. Hey there investment in tesla even now after the drop today, is now over $700M in profit. Keeping bad decissions going is the way to lose money. Nissan is smart to move on if lg has a better battery.

We are forever indebted to Nissan for bringing an BEV to all of the US, instead of a handful of states.

True… But it could have been better. 🙁

The answer is not in thousands of expensive networked “super chargers” that will get shot down for being too expensive to install and operate. The solution is simply encouraging work place charging where the majority of us can “top off” during the day if we plan on exceeding our 80-100 mile range. Additionally, solar charging stations see ( generate power, are transportable and will get you off the grid…

60KWH? NOW Infiniti has something cooking.

If they REALLY want to make it great, they should swallow their pride and strike a deal so it can use Tesla superchargers. (Assuming it can handle 130KW charging.)

What on earth for?
It will be compatible with about 18,000 existing chargers in the US, and upgrading a couple of hundred of them to the already worked out 100kw standard is no biggie at all.

You really think that upgrade is “no biggie”?

Even if it was, the problem with non-Tesla charging networks is that there is no concerted plan for nationwide coverage. Nissan is using its dealerships, but you don’t find them between cities as often as needed.

Nissan needs an EREV, but they seem philosophically opposed to them.

My outlook on pure EVs was as pessimistic as yours until Tesla came along and delivered on all fronts. Nobody else is showing the required commitment, IMO.

Why are a couple of hundred higher speed chargers such a big deal, if they could already install 18,000 at a rather reduced speed?

They have not built a high speed charging network to travel cross country because an 80 mile range Leaf is not suitable and a Volt doesn’t need it.

Building it out between a number of players including VW and BMW whose chargers are now dual with CHAdeMO is clearly trivial.

I don’t think it’s trivial. And it’s not “a couple of hundred higher speed chargers”. More like 1000 since each station has about 8 charging cables.

Now that we have another car company with a potential 60kWh battery, they should be able to engineer it to accept more kW (100kW+). This would be another BEV that can do long range driving with acceptable stoppage times.

We have 3 flavors of EV ownership (obviously with a few exceptions):
* A long range BEV
* A short range BEV + another car

It seems to me that the argument you advance is not even handed.

On the one side we have Tesla, who is supposed to be able to expand any needed fast chargers across several continents for what is planned to be a massive increase in electric vehicles without undue difficulty, and what is more using a business model which does not charge for this after sale, but rolls it up in the price of the car, which is supposed to halve for the Model III.

On the other hand in spite of the ease and low cost of Tesla doing this, a consortium of other much bigger companies can’t manage the same.

VW on its own has an investment budget of around four hundred million dollars a WEEK.

And they can’t manage a fast charging network when they have cars which can use them?

“VW on its own has an investment budget of around four hundred million dollars a WEEK.

And they can’t manage a fast charging network when they have cars which can use them?”

Maybe they have the budget, but then even if they have the will to do so (which it appears they don’t, the big manufacturers are going mainly with dealer chargers) it will still take them years to build it up. Even with Tesla moving as rapidly as possible (they already have the permit/construction process extremely streamlined) it will still take them 3 years to finish their 100 station network.

And the way those large companies work is that the bean counters will not let them just throw a couple hundred million into a charging network, even if they have cars capable of using them. Even with Nissan’s big EV budget they are only donating chargers (and having the dealers cover most of the installation costs). Even Tesla is building their network indirectly from charging $2000 per vehicle.

And your point about 18000 chargers is almost irrelevant. Installing a 3-7kW level 2 charger is a whole different ball game than installing a 240kW-600kW supercharger station (power depending on number of stalls).

‘Maybe they have the budget, but then even if they have the will to do so (which it appears they don’t, the big manufacturers are going mainly with dealer chargers)” That does not seem to be a justifiable conclusion at this point. They have not had to install conventional chargers themselves in any numbers, all they have had to do was offer some support to those who did, as the 18,000 chargers testify. ‘And your point about 18000 chargers is almost irrelevant. Installing a 3-7kW level 2 charger is a whole different ball game than installing a 240kW-600kW supercharger station (power depending on number of stalls).’ The cost of installing the 18k chargers is clearly going to be way more than a few hundred fast chargers, so my point is that if they had to finance it they clearly could, although just like conventional chargers they probably won’t have to, as when it becomes clear that a lot of battery cars will be available needing fast charge, they will be readily financible elsewhere. Your point seems to be that only Tesla has the will to build out fast chargers. Since no one else produces a car which can make use… Read more »

I would say that the point is Tesla has a head start of about 2 years. By the time any of these car companies jump in, that head start will be 3-4 years. Not insurmountable, but certainly appreciable.

The Prius didn’t have any real competition for the first 3-4 years, until the Civic Hybrid hit the street. That lead turned out to be insurmountable. Yes, Honda still makes and sells hybrids, but their market share has been falling for the past 10 years.

In general, I hear what you’re saying. There is no reason that one or more automakers couldn’t team up to build their own quick-charging network. In fact, they already are:

Tesla does have the upper hand today, and history has shown that the early movers often win out. Of course, history is full of upsets too.

It’s not about whether Nissan *can* install 100kW chargers away from dealerships. It’s whether they *will*.

Tesla has a huge first mover advantage, and its supercharger network will be pretty expansive by 2018. It went all in on its vision.

Nissan doesn’t even know if the LE will sell well. Infiniti doesn’t have the brand momentum of Tesla, its battery longevity reputation is tarnished by the LEAF, and they may not be able to match Tesla’s price.

So are they willing to put $30-50M into a 100kW charging network before putting the LE on sale?

If they partnered with Tesla, they wouldn’t have to.

I don’t think you understand the engineering behind these things. Installing a 240V AC L2 charger is relatively trivial. Installing a 100KW DC charger is NOT trivial and requires a special electric hook-up. It would be impossible to install one in my home.

My point is about the cost of the fast chargers.
Once they have cars needing them, then they are readily financible.

Tesla is not the only company in the world that can manage it.

The only reason you can’t install a 100kW supercharger at your home is that you can’t draw that much power. Homes are typically limited to 200A at 240V, or about 48kW. Getting more service than that typically requires special permits and will most likely switch you to commercial electricity pricing.

There is essentially no technical difference between installing a 130kW supercharger and installing a 10kW L2 charger. You hire an electrician to connect some wires to a big box. With more power, the big box and the wires cost more, but the installation process is nearly identical. Once you have permits in place, the installation should take 2-4 weeks. This is to mount the charger, dig a trench, run conduit, fill and cover the trench, and connect the wiring.

The only thing that would cause a problem is if you want to set up a 500-1000kW charging center in a location that doesn’t have utility wires capable of delivering that much power.

All the RICH people on this BLog have at least 2 heat pumps and 400 amp (single phase, 96kw) services.

Being from ‘poor Buffalo’, I only have a 100 amp service (24 kw – more like 22 kw on a good day), and only 1 central AC. That’s in spite of having 2 EV’s.

Come to think of it, in my town I can think of exactly one house that has a 400 amp servie, and one house that has a 200 amp 3 phase service (something rather unusual in the states, but then it had an early elevator, and it was considered gauche at the time to install a phase converter or single phase motor).

Speaking of which, if the Models S, X, and 3 get popular, I’d like to see the first ‘1000 car supercharger’, with a colocated 60 megawatt power plant.

But the problem with Tesla chargers is they have no payment mechanism.

This is a problem? Actually, the payment mechanism is “buy SC option with the car”. Not having to deal with auth/payment at the SC is a good thing. Though one could argue it’s not cost effective.

Supposedly there is $2000 tagged on to the cost of a Tesla S to pay for charging. That is OK for a $80k car, but tougher to do on a $35k one. Supposing it all works as advertised, and the Model III is included, then it would seem that way more than 200 more charge points would be needed to allow any reliable access. So the build out would appear to be bigger for Tesla than the consortium of other, much larger companies backing a different standard. If that works out, then there would be a lot more superchargers, and with 500,000 Teslas a year being added to the fleet, it seems likely that many who happened to live near one would simply use them instead of charging at home, so reliable access could still not be ensured. None of this is to say that something could not be worked out, but the notion that Tesla has a fully developed system which can provide all present and future Tesla drivers with free charging for life whilst all other companies are floundering hopelessly behind is going way beyond the case. The plug in hybrid drivers are the ones driving a fully… Read more »
Supposedly there is $2000 tagged on to the cost of a Tesla S to pay for charging. That is OK for a $80k car, but tougher to do on a $35k one. Supposing it all works as advertised, and the Model III is included, then it would seem that way more than 200 more charge points would be needed to allow any reliable access. So the build out would appear to be bigger for Tesla than the consortium of other, much larger companies backing a different standard. If that works out, then there would be a lot more superchargers, and with 500,000 Teslas a year being added to the fleet, it seems likely that many who happened to live near one would simply use them instead of charging at home, so reliable access could still not be ensured. None of this is to say that something could not be worked out, but the notion that Tesla has a fully developed system which can provide all present and future Tesla drivers with free charging for life whilst all other companies are floundering hopelessly behind is going way beyond the case. The plug in hybrid drivers are the ones driving a fully… Read more »

A lot of electric cars would mean that plenty of people would live really near superchargers, and it is surprising how mean people can be.

That can surely be overcome.

What I am questioning is the idea that this is easy and cheap for Tesla, but difficult or impossible for others.

Others haven not built supercharging networks because they are not building any cars which need them.

There is no need to look for obscure motivation.

I thought it would be a given that the Model 3 would have a $2k option for SC just like the 60kW Model S. Not everyone wants or needs the supercharger – making it an option will allow lower cost for the Model 3.

I’d like there to be a $2K option to get supercharger access for life of the car or ala carte supercharger access where you pay each time you use it. (The price for a charge would need to be determined but it wouldn’t be cheap.)

They could also provide a special separate financing for the 2000 $ of SC access, so you would pay a little each month like what is happening with gas. Since Tesla now has a lot of financing power they could stretch your payments on an 8 year period which would mean paying less then 30 $ a month.

Uh, I bet they do have a authentication mechanism. You can’t just walk up to them with your own home grown power stealer and start sucking energy out of them.

And with an authentication system, you can easily add a payment system.

As I said, no doubt it can be overcome.
But the model at the moment is used for $80k cars in very limited numbers.

It is going to have to change and adapt quite a bit if it is to be used for average priced cars produced by the hundreds of thousand a year.

You really think someone will be deploying a lot of 100KW Chademo chargers? LOL. Hey, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

You are apparently however quite prepared to give credence to the notion that all the other car companies will simply roll over and die in the face of Tesla.

There is no technical issue in building 100kw chargers and the standards are already agreed on.

Since there are no cars able to use them it is perhaps not surprising that none have been built so far.

I can’t see Tesla doing that.

If I was a Tesla owner I wouldn’t want it either….it spoils the exclusivity of owning a Tesla.

+1, and big difference between what CHAdeMO is, and what it theoretically can be turned into.

Tesla has explicitly expressed interest in licensing others. That will help fund the supercharger build-out and popularize the supercharger system. If there becomes lots of cars at a charging place then just add more chargers!

And the other car companies have zero interest in giving Tesla a leg up when they have perfectly adequate standards that they can build out themselves as soon as they have cars which need them.

+1 to Spec9

I will only buy the Infiniti LE if it can SuperCharge or if Nissan changes its current strategy for rolling out DCFC stations.

DaveMart doesn’t understand why it is a big deal. Well, if you want your EV to be the main family hauler then you will.

You simply cannot buy an EV even with a 150 mile range and expect to be able to travel from town-to-town reliably. Yes, you can go hunt around for L2 chargers or for the single L3 stations found at some Nissan dealerships (and hope they are available). But are you willing to do that (and waste a bunch of time) when you have your family (with little ones) in your car?

I want to drive my EV like a normal car. I want to be able to go from SF to LA without suffering extra inconvenience. I want to be able to pull into a L3 charger off the freeway. It should have multiple bays (like a gas station). I can tolerate waiting 30 mins because I’ll have a potty/food break at the same time.

Until then, even a 300mile EV will not be my main family hauler.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Indeed, capacity and charge rate are not only both important, but interrelated. Bigger batteries can be charged faster, so the question becomes, how small can your battery be while still offering both adequate range AND acceptable recharge speeds?

IMO, 100kW/60kWh is minimum acceptable for me to consider having a BEV as my sole vehicle, anticipating the very rare need to go thru the hassle and expense of renting a vehicle for travel outside that envelope. Anything less than that is a 2nd vehicle fit for runabout duty or enthusiast adventures.

I said building out a comparable network to allow long distance travel once competitors have BEVs capable of it is not a big deal, not that not being able to travel a long distance is not.

There is a considerable difference.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I said building out a comparable network to allow long distance travel once competitors have BEVs capable of it is not a big deal

[citation needed]

Here you go, a few posts up:

‘It will be compatible with about 18,000 existing chargers in the US, and upgrading a couple of hundred of them to the already worked out 100kw standard is no biggie at all.

You mean they would need to implement something while the superchargers are already there and in more that future implementation would only be at 100 KW when even the 135 KW of the present superchargers are already in need of higher power to allow faster charge. This is like expecting a future steam engine when gasoline cars are already there that need on their own to be implemented to Ev. By the time they have 100 KW operational, Tesla will have 360 KW charger and then hyperchargers for a ten minute fill up. Tesla is leading and if you don’t want to trail behind you need to join them instead of staying separate.

I’d love to see the cable for the 360kw charger you imagine!

Perhaps there will be weight-lifting classes included in every Tesla purchased!

100kw should be fine for fast chargers, and certainly more attractive to competitors than giving Tesla a leg up and making their own customers carry another charging cable.

Your premise is that Tesla will be able to execute, and others won’t.

Working from that premise it is hardly surprising that you see Tesla sweeping all before them.

I think the collapse is going to be when the electric bill comes, if installed in Southern California Edison (SCE) territory. At $20 / kw thats $720 fine for a 360 kw charger for presumeably 2 cars. Per month.

The gamble that Musk is playing, is that people will keep ordering the $2000 option, and then rarely, if ever use it.

As I’ve said before its not good press to have pictures of block long lines of people queueing up to use your SuperCharger Complex, unless of course he spins it as “Look how popular my cars are!!!”.

360kw is doable, (1500 volts , a standard voltage for portable mine equipment) at 240 amps, but I can’t really imagine anything more ‘grid hating’, and of course, to pay for the demand charges , Musk would have to start charging $4-6k for the HyperCharger option. Or is this Ludicrous Speed?

There is already a solution for that too, apart from buffer batteries, which could work, there are flywheels that happen to be exactly very effective at storing electricity at a low rate and discharge it at a very high rate. Beacon is one of the many that now offer this kind of technology. Beside at 6000 v 320 KW is rather seen as low power in industry.

Ooops. $7200 charge per month for 2 car spots. or $86,400 per annum. That uses up at profit musk is making pretty quickly.

I believe ‘free for life’ when I see ring fenced funding, and a cast iron contract specifying the number and availability of chargers.

Otherwise it is ‘free for the moment’.

But then I am terribly cynical.

Well there are some improvements possible on the cable. The heating at higher amps is present but actually it is not red hot and only takes a little flow of internal air to cool sufficiently. This is without using a higher voltage but that would be perfectly doable. Going from 400 v to 1000 v or 6000 v, especially if charging is switched to a more practical under the car charging away from peoples hands. So 100 KW is clearly not the end of this progress unless you are satisfied with waiting 50 minutes to recharge. The objective is faster, ghat means 30 minutes, 20 minutes and ultimately 10 minutes. For the rest anybody can witness that Tesla has indeed the best electric car and has delivered the best charger, so there is no reason to believe this would suddenly come to an end. This is even more so since the driver, Elon, has also made this a reality in space with Space x taking the least and leaving competitors in financial difficulties like ariane and this is not even counting with the reusable rocket that is planned.

I suppose alot of flywheels would work, but at what cost? Nowadays, when people need sustained power for more than a few minutes, they use the astonishing concept of a chemical battery.

Pumped water storage is cheaper, but batteries still have a more efficient charge / discharge cycle, if the number of KWH is large, which in a line of model S’s, it is.

Flywheels are more efficient when the instantaneous power transfer is relatively large, but don’t seem to cut the mustard when a lot of kwh are needed over several hours.

Well, 1500 volts would be more inexpensive since it already in common use by the mining industry… 6000 volts I don’t really see any time soon due to corona mitigation.

AN EV was never designed as the main family hauler. It is like a convertible or truck, something you might not use every day. Recently someone drove a Leaf east to west accross Tennessee using only retaurant chargers (no dealerships). By the way, did you know that when ford sold the Model T, you could only buy gas at dealerships? There is no one vehicle perfect for everyone. But for those that want a true EV, Nissan, Renault, Tesla and soon Infiniti are your only true options. If it is not for you, fine, shut up and move on!

We know nissan along with bmw is talking with tesla. It would be good for all 3 companies to cooperate on superchargers. I don’t think we will hear an anoucement until details are finalized, but I bet it is some time in 2015.

Nissan is working with bmw and vw in europe for quick chargers.

They also need to make vehicles that can accept a “supercharge”. I’m talking about charging at 200mph.

Yes, in Norway Nissan cooperates with VW to roll out Dual-standard Chademo DC/CCS DC/Type 2 AC chargers at 50-100 grocery stores.

So NMC is THE next gen chemistry?

That’s interesting because the insideev’s article I wrote on the Argonne paper/computer program focused on NMC.

Funny thing is that I had kind of gone away with the impression that the NMC chemistry was not a lot more energy dense (wh/kg) then Teslas.

Here’s the table that shows all the different chemistries:

It’a difference if you say “the next gen NMC” or “NMC is the next gen battery”…

Perhaps NMC is regarded as THE chemistry because it is around as energy dense, at least potentially, as that used in the current Tesla, and as the guy who wrote your link says:

‘The combustion rates are given in degrees C/ minute. This would be how fast the fire gets hot right after ignition. Tesla Roadster has the highest combustion rate at 350 degrees C/minute followed by the Model S chemistry at 275 degrees C/min. While Model S is an improvement over the Roadster it is still orders of magnitude higher than the Volts LMO chemistry at 2.5 degrees C/min. NMC chemistry is quite a bit better than the Tesla S with a combustion rate of 50 degrees C/min.’


As long as you can order the materials in the same quantity, I am not convinced that one GF does any better than an equivalent capacity in smaller units.

If size really does make all the difference, and transport costs are a comparatively minor element, then Tesla’s North American factory is pretty well stuffed anyway as soon as China gets serious about electric cars.

China is already the world’s biggest market for ICE cars, and will undoubtedly be the largest for electric vehicles.

Tesla has quite clearly shown that the combustion rate with Model S batteries is slow enough. Volt batteries on the other hand are making too big compromize and therefore it is overengineered and does not provide good value for money.

BTW the rate of heating shows clearly why Tesla/Panasonic’s chemistry is not optimal for home solar.

Other chemistries are far more inherently safe.

That can be engineered around, but that costs money and eats into the supposed margins from producing at high volume, and in any case is not as satisfactory as choosing a more suitable chemistry in the first place.

Its advantage is high energy density.
That is not needed for home solar, so there is little sound reason to put up with its problems.

It is possible to make Tesla’s car batteries low energy density batteries if discharge depth is limited to e.g. 40 %. This greatly enhances the cycle life but probably does not have significant effect on calendar life.

But indeed, Tesla is using different chemistry for their energy storage solutions that has about 200 Wh/kg energy density compared to 270 Wh/kg in car batteries.

I did PhD with Dr. John Goodenough, so let me tell you the following:
1), NMC has slightly less energy compare to NCA adopted by Tesla, the raw material cost is higher, but manufacturing cost is lower, so overall, similar in total cost (+/- 20%)
2). NMC will be a lot more expensive per kwh when compare to LMO, raw material is much higher than LMO, and manufacturing of NMC powder is far more complicated than LMO, despite it is lower than NCA.
3). Nissan’s new luxury EV will be a niche product at best (sales in low 4 digit, such as 2000 annually), it may never come to the market at all if Nissan could survive beyond 2018.
4). Stay away from Nissan’s regular vehicles, in case they go under due to ruinous EV initiatives.

Points 1 & 2 are your area of expertise.

It is unclear that you can speak with similar authority on points 3 & 4, which stray considerably from your central area of expertise.

@Battery Scientist

If you read the Argonne paper article and go to figure 9, it shows that NMC is a little cheaper than LMO. Why would we be switching to a more expensive Chemistry?? so I disagree with your point 2.

Yes, Ni and Co add to the cost but the higher energy density off sets.

Hmmm …. doesn’t sound right.

This confirms Tesla is right again. More power, less raw material cost; that is what counts, the higher manufacturing cost can be worked on to reduce it, exactly the objective of the giga factory.

We currently have an Infiniti G35X (AWD version) and love everything about it, except for the ICE. I would for sure consider an Infiniti LE, depending on final specifics (especially price).

Nissan has given guidance on an Infiniti product that won’t hit stores until early 2017 at the earliest (if ever), but still hasn’t given any true hints of an affordable AWD SUV/CUV EV or PHEV such as the Rogue or Qashqai.

Makes it doubtful they will electrify a Rogue/Qashqai any time soon.

It does not make much sense to produce non-AWD electric cars in any class, because dual motor electric AWD is so much simpler and cheaper than ICE AWD. Also electric AWD has not effect on range, it might even be better as it is probable that regenerative braking can be made more efficient with AWD.

Therefore both Tesla Model 3 and electric Infiniti will be offered as AWD only.

If it is going to compete with Tesla they have to be careful where they place the price in relation to the Tesla S and upcoming 3.

If the Model 3 ends up having a similar range with a 50-60 kwh pack, similar passenger and cargo volume and a similar performance to the Infiniti then Infiniti can’t do what Cadillac did with the ELR and price it almost in the same class as the Model S. If all things are equal with the Model 3 but Infiniti jacks up the price by adding tons of “standard” luxury items then it will fail.

I’m guessing they probably will price it somewhere in between the two models which might still be a hard sell. I think that at this point in time most EV buyers who are buying Teslas, Leafs or i3s are not looking for future improvements in luxury items but are more interested in spending a premium for future improvements like more range and more passenger and cargo volume.



I agree completely.

Your rationale is the same that I used for why BMW, Porche, and Volvo will get their clocks cleaned when they introduce their PHEV SUVs next year. They’re competing directly with Tesla X, at a similar price point but with little to no electric range.

The people who care about EVs will choose the Tesla. The people who don’t care about EVs won’t pay the price premium and will choose the ICE versions of those cars.

Tesla really has disrupted the car industry, in a Fantastic way. (as has Nissan with the LEAF and Chevy with the Volt).

Unlike Nissan/GM: Tesla has wisely gone after an all-important the all-important AWD SUV segment.

I think that when people look back they will see Nissan/GM’s failure to bring an affordable AWD CUV/SUV PHEV or EV to the market as a major mistake.

Tesla’s story is that Model S sales will not be hit by sales of the Model X.

I disagree, and think that if anyone is going to ‘have their clock cleaned’ by the Model X, it is the Model S.

Of course some families will be wealthy enough to have both, but for the majority I think they will have one or the other, not both.

I have no reason to disbelieve Tesla’s story of 20,000 advance bookings for the Model X, so it seems to me that Model S sales, alread way off their peak in the US of 2,300 in March 2013 will be further hit.

Now perhaps the Chinese will love the Model S enough to take up all the slack and then some, as it sure isn’t happening in Europe, but perhaps not.

Tesla is going to cut the price of the Model-S to spur sales. They announced there will be a lease deal in Q4.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I disagree, and think that if anyone is going to ‘have their clock cleaned’ by the Model X, it is the Model S.

“If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.”
– Steve Jobs

Incidentally, given that Model X and Model S are on the same platform, with mostly the same drivetrain hardpoints etc, and built on the same lines by the same people, I doubt Tesla cares which of the vehicles they produce people buy.

Also, incidentally, I reckon there’ll be plenty of Model S CPO vehicles after Model X delivers, which means folks who can’t use all the tax breaks or want to save some $$ will be able to join in the fun.

Dave: I agree that Tesla X will cannibalize Tesla S sales more than Tesla admits. However, all major companies have a sedan and also an SUV. Tesla S will still appeal to people who don’t want/need an SUV There is a good chance that Tesla S and X will share a ton of interchangeable components. Thus, so long as they have a backlog it won’t matter too much if they sell 20,000 model S and 20,000 Model X; or 5,000 model S and 35,000 Model X. X will likely come at mild premium to S, so the latter situation may even be optimal for Tesla. Tesla will be fine as long as they can get the Model III out by 2017. (assuming it delivers on most of its promise/hype). Pitting the III against the Leaf, Volt, i3, etc will be interesting. Will Tesla III come at a premium to those brands? Will the other players up their game? But I’ll tell you what: If you are in the EV or PHEV space that Tesla occupies then you had better bring your A game. They are the team to beat. The BMW, Porche, and Volvo SUV PHEVs are not even close.… Read more »
To be clear I am a fan of Tesla engineering, of the technical kind if not the financial. I also agree that Musk is a genius. I just happen to be one of those spoil sport fellows who, I like to think, had I been a member of the Grande Armee when Napoleon, who was also a genius, ordered the invasion of Russia would have been pointing out that it gets darn cold there, probably to no avail. Musk isn’t intent on destroying a continent to further his ambitions, but like the greats of commercial history, will certainly play as fast and loose as he can get away with, and risk takers of any kind often come unstuck. So the narrative is ever onwards and upwards, and the financing for his taking on the big boys comes from that. No doubt it is my pessimistic and bourgeois outlook, but to descend from the general to the particular, I can see absolutely nothing in the figures to indicate that they are allowing for any impact at all of the Tesla X on Model S sales. Ex Norway European figures have also been dire, since for instance hundreds of sales a week… Read more »

And I am sure you would have told Gen Patton not to push to Berlin.

And Henry Ford to scale back his Model T ambitions.

For every Model S not sold in Germany as projected there are two being sold(if not delivered) in China that was not projected.

Putting any published data on Tesla in the worst possible light does not make a person objective.

And through July Model S is outselling i3 in EUROPE 5838 to 5688.

You seem to feel that there is a moral imperative to support Tesla.

I disagree.

For the record I was equally unconvinced that property prices prior to 2008 were on an infinite upward trend.

I have also supported many innovations over the last 40 years, including for instance solar in rural areas in the tropics, where it is transforming countless lives.

The idea that only boundless enthusiasm is appropriate towards Tesla and not critical analysis strikes me as a strange one.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Now this is more like it! I assume it’ll feature at least 250kW of motor for excellent performance, and 100kW ChaDeMo charging? I reckon Infiniti dealers will have to upgrade their service to 3-phase 440V to get adequate power for a few of those…

I’ll take one for $55k…

I bet when push comes to shove, you get a Tesla Model 3 with a 50-60kWh battery 200 mile range, 120kW charging at superchargers for free and access to a chargong network that not only delivers on promise, but has actually been built out and sited for travel around the whole of the continental US. Oh and it will probably come in $15k cheaper!

The most popular battery version for Tesla Model 3 will be about 300 mile range.

And Tesla is right now upgrading superchargers that they can provide 135 kW charching power.

Good move from Nissan. The biggest handicap of Nissan LEAD was they had outdated battery chemistry with just too low energy density and too short service life. Not to mention the lack of AWD and weak range per charge.

Now if Nissan wants to move forward they must invest on joint battery gigafactory with LG Chem. Although Nissan failed with electric cars and made misinvestments, there is still hope and Nissan is good position when EV markets are set to explode in around 2016.

How can you say Nissan failed with electric cars? They are the largest producer of elctric cars in the world, with the numbers still growing. Over 200,000 so far.

reply for this message is at the bottom.

Interesting, but does not seem pragmatic that Infiniti would load the LE design with 60 kWh of capacity! Remember a couple years ago when LE concept was unveiled with specs for a 24 kWh pack similar to the LEAF.

Further the Infiniti LE will be similar in size/volume to a Tesla Model Ξ (3) which has been stated to be ~80% the size of a Model S. 60 kEh requires Nissan-Infiniti not only to get costs below $200/kWh, but the minimize volume and weight of the pack. Not expecting Infiniti engineers to be on par with Model Ξ specs with their first BEV. Thus, expect a LE design to have a capacity somewhere between a LEAF and Model Ξ, as this LE would place the LE in a more competitive market position.

Another thing to consider is after 2018 both Nissan-Infiniti and Tesla customers may loss eligibility to $7500 incentives as each manufactures US EV volume passes 200,000. A factor that can influence BEV designs targeting 2017-2025 timeframe, as the pricepoint and capacity are configured for EV designs.

Tesla Model Ξ certainly does not require subsidies. There will be huge demand for AWD + 300 mile range version ofTesla Model 3. And it really does not matter how Tesla is pricing the vehicle, because there are enough customers who just do not care how much their car costs.

Are you sure the model III will have AWD? My understanding was that the model X will be AWD and that they’ll release an AWD version of the model S as a premium add on. But I haven’t heard anything about an AWD model III.

Anything about the Model 3 other than starting at $35k and having 200+ EPA mile range is speculation at this point.

If the AWD tech in X proves to be very popular, it may end up as an option on Model 3 and a likely option on Model Y (Gen 3 CUV). We may get some clues on how they will handle this by watching the progression of Model S next to Model X.

Note that Tesla Model 3’s main competitor is Audi A4 Quattro and it is naturally AWD car. Also BMW 3-series is offered with optional AWD.

It really does not make sense for Tesla to offer Model 3 as non-AWD. RWD makes too much compromises and FWD is only for sissies. Therefore AWD is the only option for high profile premium car such as Tesla Model 3 that is aiming to challenge German luxury brands.

Yes I am pretty sure. AWD in electric cars is not a luxury item like in ICE cars. This is because two 75 kW electric motors cost roughly the same as one 150 kW electric motor. Same for inverter. Other mechanical drivetrain components are relatively cheap.

Electric AWD does not reduce the range significantly and it may even improve it as it probably makes regenerative braking more efficient at low speeds.

There is also all the other benefits on driving performance that exceeds what ICE AWD can offer. Plus added level of safety in extreme conditions, such as on wet tarmac.

Simply put, it just does not make sense to offer non-AWD electric cars in any price category. People do not want to buy those after they have felt how much better electric AWD is compared to ICE AWD.

It’s great news that Infinity is moving in this direction. However, a 60KWH car coming out at the same time as a Tesla gen III isn’t likely to be interesting to me. Chademo may “have the ability to go to 100KW”, but their web site specifically says they won’t (at the present time), and in any case, Tesla has a network NOW vs. just an idea that Nissan/Infinity MIGHT come out with such a system.

So a charge challenged 60KWH Infinity, likely selling for more than a Tesla gen III, sorry I just don’t see it. Infinity is clearly going for competition with the model S, but if nothing changes, it appears they will lose against both the Model S AND Model III as well.

Both Tesla and Infiniti can sell exactly as many electric cars as they can manufacture. The market expansion rate is faster than the expansion rate of electric car manufacturing capacity at least until mid 2020’s.

This is the point what Tesla has made from the beginning and last time when they offered their patents for other manufacturers that electric cars are not competing with each other, but they are competing against ICE cars jointly. The more there is supply of high quality electric cars from different manufacturers, the faster will be the market expansion rate.

i dont want an infiniti

Well it is VERY good news that Nissan has decided to buy their “Chemistry” from somebody else. Can only pray they do the same for the Leaf. Is this new Infiniti the incarnation of the limited production vehicle that LG Chem was talking about some months ago?

Probably. That would make some sense.

If anyone wants to play with some NMC cells; check the Amsterdam website of evtv.

A good thing on that car is the automatic charger, be it inductive or secured contact based, I would like to have that on a Tesla as well. Plugging in manually can go for now but at a moment, perhaps on model III, there will also be a desire for an automatic system as an option.

Ghosn seems to be taking the pragmatic action here. Leave the difficult task of making batteries at a profit to companies with a proven track record.

As regards any ‘supercharging’ for the upcoming 60kwh infinity, I’d think Nissan is wisely leaving that to others….

Superchargers, as currently installed in the majority of locations, seem to be very ‘grid hating’. They seem to get such a small percentage of their power from grid friendly solutions such as solar cells.

Nissan continues to provide a ‘grid friendly’ solution, by having the vast majority of their Leaf’s charge overnight. Hopefully, the same thing will happen with the infinity, although with this car, they will probably make a 6.6 kw charger standard for the base model.

Mr. Howland, please explain exactly how a 50 or 60kW CHAdeMO EVSE is more grid friendly than the apparently grid hating Telsa Superchargers? How absurd.

The vast majority of Tesla owners charge overnight at home.

Overall, the CHAdeMO deployment in the U.S. is an exercise in stupidity. They are too slow to facilitate long distance travel and too expensive for overnight charging. Once Nissan’s 2nd generation BEV’s ship, they are all too slow anyways. Which means the copper and aluminum wiring will have to be pulled out and replaced for 100kW or faster rate charging. How many kilowatts were delivered per CHAdeMO EVSE before they become obsolete? At what price?

Maybe Nissan will get their house in order and finally ship 10kW and 20kW L2 charging with 80A J1772 instead of this carbon killing exercise that is CHAdeMO.

Simply because if on an Auguest 1st day, if you, as the utility have 500 kw to spare before causing brownouts, then you can run 10 Chademo chargers (presumeably 20 cars), and only 8 model S’s. The Tesla solution ‘not’ causing the ‘absurd brownout’ is only if people don’t use it. Its rather obvious you have never had to pay demand charges since they are the furthest thing from you mind. Those of us who have had to pay demand charges always think about how much of our ‘Connected Loads’ are running at any given time, depending on the particular utility arrangement. This is something Commercial and Industrial customers have to think about and plan ahead for all the time. Residence customers do not, in general, currently have to worry about this, since a 400 amp service is treated the same billing wise as a 30 amp service. But that was not always the case, and it may not be always the case in the future, and more to the point, a Supercharger installation is, I’m sure in general, *NOT* classified as a residential installation, and therefore the vast majority of them have to pay demand charges and/or enter into… Read more »

Still completely absurd reasoning.

The Tesla Supercharger is the *reason* for the utility brownout, not the raging A/C load, not the various Leafs charging @ 45 kW, not the industrial loads. It’s the Tesla Superchargers because they can charge at 135 kW that’s *the* reason for the brownout? How absurd.

Again, Tesla owners mostly charge at home. Matter of fact, it is more likely that Tesla owners charge at night rather than Leaf owners simply because Tesla owners likely have enough range to make it through most days, while Leaf owners often do not. So no need to charge @ work or the grocery store for a Tesla owner. Many Leaf owners *need* to charge during the day. Those Tesla owners using Superchargers during the day are more likely needing a charge for long distance travel, something that Leaf owners rarely embark upon – they are more likely to use a different car for long distance trips.

Further, Tesla is starting to put in battery packs at Superchargers in order to help handle the peak demand charges. There is one at Tejon Ranch now:

Do what I did and put some numbers on it instead of just ruminating. Prove your case with hard facts.

Mr. Howland, you provided zero numbers to back up your assertions of “grid friendly” or not. Zero facts that support your assertion. Matter of fact, the entirely of the logic is missing. Further, you can do your own research before making such absurd and unfounded assertions. The 50% SoC for a 60kWh Model S corresponds to roughly 65 miles of range, even in the worst of conditions. That’s enough range to cover a 30 mile one way commute, which cover about 90% of U.S. commutes (U.S. DOT stats 2014). The lowest possible charge slider setting in the smallest Model S battery currently sold is good for 90% of U.S. commutes. Which means no workplace charging needed for 90% of U.S. commutes. Obviously, if one needed more range, then one can set the charge to 90%, which is 120+ miles of range (again, worst case scenario), or enough to do 50 miles commutes with no workspace charging. That covers than 97.4% of all U.S. commutes. On the other hand, Nissan Leaf’s realistic range is less than 70 miles in optimal conditions. In the worst of conditions, it’s less than 50 miles. That’s less than 25 miles of commuting range, likely closer… Read more »

Noted. Ad Hominem attacks are not allowed on most of these blogs.

Well, here’s a little inconvenient truth for you. Southern California Edison currently charges $20 / kilowatt-hour for demand for non-residence customers, as any 360kw ‘hypercharger’ would be. This is over and above any energy charges that acrue, mostly the type you may be used to paying at home. The rate schedules are different, however the fact remains that unless you want to be shut off for nonpayment, you are responsible for the bill.

A 360 kw charger charging one parking space would cost the electricity used during the 30 day period PLUS $7200, plus taxes and fees of course, in Southern California Edison. You can ruminate why you have to pay the $7200 every 30 days per parking spot, in addition to the energy going into the car, and you can call it anything you want. But honestly, I don’t care what you call it, you are still responsible for paying it.

change kwh in the above post to kw

How are the demand charges an inconvenient truth?

Your knowledge of Superchargers seems lacking, as you don’t know that that current Superchargers are 135 kW which is split between two plugs. 410kW is enough for 6 charging pedestals. Many Superchargers have 500kW or 700kW transformers for the entire site. Further, there are many different electricity providers and the rate schedules can be very different. You also have to take into account that there are EV specific rate schedules that back out some of these charges. For example, the facilities related demand charge you list above is a lower $12.71/kW on the TOU-EV-4 schedule. That’s $5,200 or so a month, but that’s for 6 pedestals.

Tesla pays this, or whatever they negotiate. Customers have already paid up front.

None of this still has anything to do with “grid hating” as you put it earlier.

360 kw was brought up as the next “hypercharger”, or else you haven’t been reading the blog. Seeing as this is turning into a pedantic exercise I’ll stop here. It will be interesting to see how long plain old super chargers remain ‘free forever’, with only a $2000 up front cost to the purchaser.

ICE cars are sold 80 000 000 annually. 200 000 significantly less.

And besides, here Nissan basically admitted that they failed with LEAF batteries and are now opting for higher energy density, lower cost and longer service life batteries from LG Chem. LG batteries have similar characteristics than with Tesla’s batteries.

What I would like is a BEV that looks like and is sized like my Infiniti G37, gets 400 miles on a charge, and costs $60k or less. It can have regular doors and a monitor the size of the G37.