Infiniti has re-confirmed it will sell the production version of the LE, and it has now given us a year: 2014. This makes it likely that Nissan's upscale arm will be the first OEM to sell a production inductive charging vehicle.
USAToday reports that Infiniti officials made the announcement in California alongside the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this past weekend. The high-end event is a good place to discuss launching a beefier, prettier luxury cousin to the Nissan Leaf, especially one that could have the cachet of being able to offer completely hassle-free electric miles (one you install the pads in your garage, of course). Infiniti's Ben Poore told USAToday that, "It's a new technology. We're being a little bit bold on this." The LE – which stands for Luxury, Electric – also allows standard, wired charging.
While we don't know what the specs will be for the production version, the LE Concept has a Leaf-like 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 100-kw electric motor that offers 134 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. That's 24 hp and 30 lb-ft more than the Leaf. The LE will be most likely be built at Nissan's factory in Smyrna, TN, the one that will start making the Leaf later this year.
The race is on to bring wireless charging to the masses, with companies like Mitsubishi and Audi working privately and the U.S. government dabbling as well.