Three years ago Infiniti rolled out the LE concept electric car, which promised to revolutionize the automotive industry. After three years, the car has been shown off at numerous car shows around the world, capturing much praise and adoration. Still, there is no sign of a production version coming this year. That fact has been a subject of much hand-wringing among the Infiniti faithful and electric vehicle proponents, considering that the luxury brand originally promised the vehicle would go into production in 2014, which obviously has come and passed.
The bad news is that USA Today is reporting the project was actually put on hold as Infiniti pursued “higher priorities.” Among those more pressing matters no doubt was the much-maligned decision to rename every model using the letter “Q.” The report also included the fact that Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti for the Americas, says the brand has had to focus on more “pragmatic” matters like the Q60 Concept and other vehicles that will yield higher sales volumes.
Rumors in the automotive industry are that Infiniti is holding off on making the LE because of a very different reason. Apparently, with batteries advancing quickly these days, the idea is to wait for the next-generation technology that is coming with the 2017 Nissan Leaf. The target range for the new electric Nissan is double what the car current achieves, which is 84 miles.
Originally, the Infiniti LE was supposed to come with inductive charging, meaning consumers wouldn’t have to plug it in to charge the battery. That kind of technology still isn’t a production reality, which could be another reason for the delay of the LE.
Whatever the reason for the LE not hitting dealerships by now, some are anticipating the car will debut just before the 2017 Nissan Leaf, which would put the reveal sometime in the latter part of 2016. About that time will be a very active period for electric cars, with models like the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and several others set to launch.