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Infiniti sets 2021 “all-electric” date

Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept.

Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti promises its first EV and an all-electric powertrain strategy by 2021

While Nissan looks to make new investments in EV technology, its luxury unit Infiniti has announced its intention to become an EV brand.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told delegates at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that the company would introduce electrified powertrains from 2021, offering a mix of both pure-electric vehicles (EV) and “e-POWER” hybrids.

The latter will feature small gasoline engines which charge a high-output battery – effectively functioning as range extenders – but it did not specify whether these models would be mild hybrids or if they might include plug-in options.

Beyond 2021, Saikawa said the brand expects more than half its global sales to be EVs by 2025.

It follows similar announcements from the likes of Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, both of which have pledged to offer only electrified powertrains, or to make sure that every model range has an electric variant.

In the meantime, Infiniti drew attention to its Q Inspiration Concept, a “minimalist” blueprint for the future of its brand design. Again it’s billed as a hybrid – based in fact on a variable turbocharged gasoline engine – but if Infiniti’s future battery EVs look anything like this, they are likely to turn heads.

 

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Bombast aside however, 2021 is still some way off. And while other automakers push to deliver long-range, affordable battery EVs as soon as the next 18 months, Infiniti isn’t being particularly progressive in announcing what is effectively a long-term mild hybrid strategy.

That’s especially disappointing for a self-described luxury automaker, where higher expectations and wealthier consumers should mean EV technology is easily within their reach – and budget.

 

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