Infiniti to introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021
This Feb. 14, 2013 file photo shows the Infiniti logo at the Pittsburgh Auto Show, in Pittsburgh. (AP / Gene J. Puskar, File)
Published Wednesday, January 17, 2018 10:30AM EST
A number of automakers have been making increasingly bold claims about how they're going to introduce more electrification into their vehicle ranges in the coming years. And Volvo is going further than most by stating every new vehicle it produces will have an electric powertrain available by as early as next year. Infiniti is one of the latest to put its electrification credentials out there to the world, but it's perhaps sensibly being a little more modest than some in its plans and aspirations.
Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress Tuesday, Nissan's Chief Executive Officer, Hiroto Saikawa, said the company will introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021. That doesn't sound particularly groundbreaking compared to some rivals, but the plans do go a little further than just a promise to have some electrified vehicles in the range in a couple of years.
Infiniti will actually launch its first full-electric vehicle in 2021, but it also intends electrified vehicles to make up at least half of its global sales by the year 2025. Infiniti intends to offer a mix of pure electric vehicles (EVs) and e-POWER vehicles, which will demonstrate the full range of ultra-low emission vehicle technology available to the luxury arm of Nissan as the premium brand within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
E-POWER is a technology that features a small petrol engine that's used to charge a high-output battery, which eliminates the requirement for an external charging source and provides the convenience of being able to re-fuel with petrol. So, while offering the same driving experience as a pure EV, e-POWER models won't have drivers worrying about where they can plug in to recharge the battery and how long it is going to take.
It's not an entirely new concept though, as Chevrolet did something very similar with its first-generation Volt. The original Chevy Volt was driven by an electric motor that used a petrol engine purely as a generator, but the second-generation now allows the petrol engine to drive the Volt, and the entire future of the Chevy "range-extender" is now in some doubt.