While we had been told it was coming in 2014, the exact release date of the production version of the Infiniti LE concept might just might hinge on something you can't see and that the Japanese automaker can't control: wireless charging infrastructure. That's the word from Autocar, which talked to Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer, who admits that wireless charging "is this technology we want to shine a light on, so while there is no world standard on methods, the rollout will be dependent on region." In other words, if you want the latest luxury EV, you'd better hide those wires. They're so gauche.
There's a good chance Infiniti will be the first OEM to sell a production inductive charging vehicle (companies like Mitsubishi and Audi are also working on the technology), which is likely to be a double-edged sword. Yes, it'll have bragging rights, but the wired infrastructure is proving difficult enough to put into place, and having the coolest tech doesn't mean much if you can't put it into use. Thankfully, the LE (or whatever it will be called) is also expected to come with conventional wired charging capabilities. Also, Infiniti is, at this point, trying to get induction charging technology to be open source, which could help a lot of players in the industry.
The LE concept, based on the Nissan Leaf, has the same 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack but a more powerful 100-kw electric motor good for 134 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.