The Infinity LE brings a new level of elegance to the all-electric 5-passenger sedan. Whether gliding down the highway or attracting a crowd in front of a favorite restaurant, the sculpted body and LED lighted grill are arresting. Premium appointments invite the driver to use a new generation of telematics and infotainment. Sexy.
Car expert Nick Chambers states, “The Infiniti LE features lightweight and highly sculptured aluminum body panels that Nissan had to develop a new manufacturing process for in order to create the sharp creases that run along the length of the vehicle. While individual preferences certainly vary, it is almost unarguable that the LE concept is a much better looking vehicle than the Leaf.”
For the American market, the new Infinity LE will be made in Tennessee along side the Nissan LEAF. The Infinity LE will use Nissan LEAF’s proven all-electric drive system with 24kW of lithium batteries for a 100-mile range. The new Infinity will have a larger 100kW electric motor with 134-hp and 240 lb-ft of torque for more performance than the LEAF’s 80kW motor. In the past year, my Nissan LEAF has always delivered needed acceleration, even when taking uphill freeway onramps and needing to quickly reach 70 mph. The Infinity LE will deliver more.
Nissan Motors to Announce 51 New Vehicles in Next 5 Years
Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President of Nissan Motors, plans to announce 51 new production vehicles over the next 5 years. The Infinity LE, currently a concept car, will go on sale in 2014 and probably be labeled a 2015 model year. Price has not yet been decided. When Palmer was asked about Nissan’s commitment to electric cars, he said, “We are all in.” Nissan has invested $4 billion in all-electric cars and advanced batteries and drive systems for hybrid electric-cars. In months, Nissan will open its new Tennessee plant that can produce 150,000 electric cars and 200,000 lithium battery packs annually. Nissan is all in.
Twenty-eight thousand Nissan LEAFs are now on the road. I have driven ours for over a year. It has been problem free for my wife and I. We have never spent more than $35 per month for electricity to keep it charged, thereby saving us over $100 per month on gasoline. First-year sales of the LEAF are greater than first-year sales of the Prius.
The LEAF is a convenient 5-passenger hatchback. We have lowered our backseat to put 2 mountain bikes inside. The Infiniti LE is a sedan where the backseat in the displayed concept cannot be lowered.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is also delivering in Europe the Renault Fluence all-electric cousin to the LEAF. Better Place plans to deliver 100,000 of the Fluence to Israel and Denmark, where thousands of charge points and battery switch stations are installed and in used to replace empty batteries with full in less than 5 minutes. From vans to luxury sedans, we will see a growing number of electric offerings from the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Wireless Charging for the Infinity LE
The Infinity LE will include wireless inductive charging as a standard. When a contact plate at the bottom of the car aligns with a companion plate on a garage floor, no-fuss charging can take place. It can charge immediately or when it is programmed to begin, such as when electric utility rates are lowest. The Infinity LE will also be equipped for public charging with a J1772 connector for garage 110v outlet or Level 2 charging at 6.6kW/hour and CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging. The AESC 24kW lithium-nickel-manganese polymer battery will not be switchable.
Electric cars are heralding a new generation of stealth performance, apps that assist and guide us, and the convenience to “fill-up” at the nearest electric outlet. The Infinity LE joins new luxury electric cars such as the Tesla Model S, Fisker Karma, Cadillac ELR, Audi E-Tron Spyder, BMW i8, and Rolls Royce 102EX.