Nissan's premium division is taking the all-electric Leaf technology and going upscale. Infiniti unveiled a swoopy concept sedan at the 2012 New York auto show giving a glimpse at the potential electric future for the brand.
The company calls the LE Concept a zero-emissions luxury sedan and claims that it will go 100 miles from a full charge from its "leading-edge compact lithium-ion battery technology."
Infiniti says the car will help drivers find places to charge the car as the number of public charging stations become more available. The database of stations will, reportedly, be continuously updated and searchable, as well as "be capable of reserving charging stations at public venues such as malls or ballparks (once the appropriate infrastructure is in place)."
Aside from the typically high-end and beautifully crafted Infiniti interior we've come to expect from the brand, the LE Concept will also include a home-based Wireless Charging System with Intelligent Park Assist. Just as we've reported on this previously, [http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2011/07/plug-in-2011-conference-evatran-plugless-power-demonstrates-cordless-electric-car-recharging.html] this technology recognizes your car approaching and guides you to where you should stop for charging.
Infiniti says the system's non-contact charging is via inductive energy flow, with a coil safely encased on the garage floor. Safe for children and pets, the coil creates a magnetic field that excites electric current in a second coil in the LE Concept, recharging the battery. For drivers, this means just park straddling the charging pad in the garage, and the car will be recharged. The process can be monitored and controlled via smart phone. The car will also have an integrated charging port and a DC Fast Charge option.
Infiniti is betting that there are consumers out there willing to spend extra to get a high-end "green" vehicle. And since the LE Concept is the same overall length as an Infiniti G sedan, buyers won't have to fit into the smaller confines of a Leaf to go electric.
A production version of this concept is expected to be on sale in calendar-year 2014.