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Infiniti LE EV Gets Delayed

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On: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 12:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti LE EV Gets Delayed

It seemed like development of the Infiniti LE was coming along swimmingly. Not a month ago, Nissan global planning chief Andy Palmer was talking optimistically about wireless charging technology. Now it seems that technology is taking a little longer to develop than Infiniti expected. Palmer said last week that the car will be delayed from the 2015 launch window that it had been working toward.

Infiniti's LE web page still says that it will "become reality in 2014," but an Automotive News Europe report casts that in definitive doubt. The report says that the car was supposed to launch in 2015 but will be delayed because Infiniti wants to incorporate more advanced battery and charging technology in the car, which won't be ready in time.

"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," Palmer told the site.

Those technologies include the wireless charging tech that Palmer promised would be a part of the production LE. As he mentioned when discussing it several weeks ago, wireless charging still doesn't have a universal standard, and Infiniti wants to wait for a single standard to prevail from the several that exist now. It also has a new lithium-ion battery technology that promises to increase range at a lower price. Given that range is one of the biggest obstacles hampering electric vehicles, it sounds like the new technology could broaden the LE's appeal.

Palmer did not give an adusted launch window but said that the delay won't be significant and the LE is still in Infiniti's mid-term plans. That sounds like three to five years to us.

Infiniti showed the original LE at the 2012 New York Auto Show. It didn't detail the electric powertrain or performance, outside of a few loose details, like 240 lb-ft of torque, a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery, and wireless charging capabilities


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