Infiniti is delaying the introduction of electric vehicle until the 2016 model year as the new wireless technology critical to the offering’s success is not yet ready for the retail market. Infiniti has said for three years that it plans to introduce its EV, temporarily dubbed as the LE, in the 2014 model year. The technology -- called inductive charging – was unveiled when Infiniti presented the LE at the 2012 New York auto show.
The technology does not require a plug-in to recharge an EV. Instead, the advanced wireless system enables the vehicle's lithium ion battery module to be recharged simply by parking it on a charging mat. This innovative plug-less feature is considered as a critical luxury product differentiation from other EVs available on the market, including the Nissan Leaf that is derived from the same platform as the LE.
According to Andy Palmer, global product planning chief for Infiniti and Nissan, the delay does not mean that the luxury brand has lost its enthusiasm for the project as it is still eager to bring the LE to market.
Palmer recently remarked to Automotive News Europe that the Infiniti LE will feature a new-generation lithium ion battery that will increase driving range. He said that by delaying the LE a little bit, they could incorporate some “interesting advances” in electric technology they hadn't anticipated when they unveiled the EV.