Infiniti Promises Its First Electric Vehicle by 2021

By · January 23, 2018

Infiniti unveiled the Q Inspiration concept vehicle last week. But it's not electric.

Nissan’s luxury Infiniti brand will introduce only fully or partially electric vehicles starting 2021, except for its large SUVs. That’s according to Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who spoke at the Automotive News World Congress last week.

Saikawa’s commitment to a line-up of Infiniti-badged electric and hybrid vehicles comes exactly four years after Johan de Nysschen—Infiniti’s president at the time—said that an Infiniti electric sedan scheduled for production in 2014 would be delayed for about six years. The new statement, for the most part, is consistent with previous company announcements about timing. The automaker last week confirmed its first fully electric car will go on sale in 2021—making it only the second EV to be introduced by the Nissan parent company (a decade after the LEAF went on sale).

Nissan recently introduced a redesigned 150-mile version of the Nissan LEAF electric car—to catch up with EV competition after pledging for years to lead the industry in EVs. Nissan has long made a distinction between pure electric cars and any vehicle with a gasoline internal combustion engine. However, those lines were blurred by Infiniti (and other automakers) that promise to produce “electrified” vehicles—a category that includes powertrains that use both an electric motor and a gas engine that produce some tailpipe emissions.

Kyle Bazemore, an Infiniti spokesman, said the brand expects to make more than 50 percent of its sales from electric or partially electric cars by 2025. He did not make it clear how many of the models, or what percentage of sales, would be pure EVs, plug-in hybrids, and conventional no-plug hybrids.

“Our strategy is to continue to be in a leading position in electric cars,” Saikawa said at the Automotive News event, which took place near the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “This is going to be a unique sales point for Infiniti.”

In Detroit, Infiniti also introduced its Q Inspiration concept vehicle, an indication of the luxury automaker’s future designs. However, the Q Inspiration—not an EV—is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 gasoline engine.

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