Even as demand for its little Leaf battery-electric vehicle begins to gain momentum, Nissan has temporarily pulled the plug on plans to bring the Infiniti LE to market, though sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com that the luxury electric vehicle is still very much part of the maker’s mid-term plans.
The challenge, it seems, is to come up with the sort of improvements in range and performance – as well as the requisite upscale niceties, such as leather seats – that would make the Infiniti more than just a gussied-up Leaf. Nissan is also watching to see how the market responds to other luxury battery cars, notably including the new BMW “i” models, as well as the more expensive Tesla Model S.
“The car is still planned but I don’t think we’re in any rush to bring the car to market,” said a ranking source closely connected to Nissan’s battery car program.
While he noted the growth of the overall market for electric propulsion, the source acknowledged it is not coming “as rapidly as we initially thought,” adding that “we need to get the mass market to grow before luxury buyers accept the technology.”