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Infiniti unveils production-intent electric LE Concept with wireless charging; production version expected within two years

5 April 2012

Side_view
LE Concept. Click to enlarge.

Infiniti unveiled the LE Concept battery-electric vehicle at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. A production version is expected to reach Infiniti showrooms in near-similar form within the next two years as Infiniti’s first all-electric luxury sedan.

The powertrain of the LE Concept includes a 100 kW synchronous electric motor that delivers 240 lb-ft (325 N·m) of torque; a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery packing comprising 192 cells; a single-speed reducer with shift-by-wire drive selector with an ECO drive pattern; an on-board CHAdeMO DC 50 kW quick charger; and support for a wireless charging system with Park Assist. Estimated range is 100 miles.

In keeping with the Infiniti challenger mentality, the LE Concept includes a built-in Wireless Charging System, which we expect to be the first home-based wireless charging system if adapted for the production version. All you have to do is park your vehicle over the charging pad with no need to connect cables.

—Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore

The system’s non-contact charging is via inductive energy flow, with a coil encased on the garage floor. The primary coil is connected to the energy source, which then creates a magnetic field that excites electric current in a second coil in the LE Concept. The high-frequency charging, controlled by the twin display or smartphone can be installed easily in a home garage.

In addition, the Infiniti LE Concept features an Intelligent Park Assist with Around View Monitor to easily align the vehicle in the proper position over the wireless charging coil. The system uses e-steering, with full forward and backward capability, along with a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.

It also bookmarks the parking place in GPS so that once the vehicle enters the garage, for example, the navigation system will automatically switch to Around View Monitor and the system is ready to park the car.

The battery pack of the front-wheel drive sedan is housed in the floor. This positioning helps provide a low vehicle center of gravity for enhanced handling and maximizes trunk room, without compromising front or rear seat passenger legroom or comfort.

As a “production intent” concept, most of what you see in the LE Concept will become a reality, including its zero emission powertrain, advanced telematics, cutting-edge design, advanced connected services and premium appointments. Infiniti believes the future of luxury is sustainable luxury and we intend to continue taking a leadership role, building on the foundation set by our advanced Infiniti M Hybrid and high-mpg Infiniti JX luxury crossover.

—Ben Poore

The company said that it designed the LE Concept has been designed as a pure Infiniti, rather than as an electric vehicle with luxury appointments. The vehicle is about the same overall length as an Infiniti G Sedan, supporting Infiniti’s belief that zero emission does not have to mean small.

A number of design features contribute to the coefficient of drag of 0.25, which aids driving range, including the aluminum-alloy wheels with aero treatment, the high rear deck, rear aero diffuser and aero side fin spoilers with integrated illumination. The large front grille features a solid finisher and a charge port hidden under the illuminated center Infiniti emblem. The deep-skirted front fascia includes an aero fin spoiler with illumination. The iconic Infiniti LED headlights and taillights echo the design direction of Infiniti’s recent Infiniti Essence and EMERG-E concepts.

Special illumination located under the rear diffuser illustrates the positioning of the wireless charger.

The center instrument cluster features an innovative connected twin display powered by an Intel Atom processor. The twin display will offer Infiniti LE drivers access to information such as a dynamic range calculator that will use onboard and cloud-based data. As the public charging station network expands, the on-board database will be kept current. And on compatible charger networks, the driver will be able to confirm real time charger availability.

The e-platform’s high body stiffness (with rigid-mounted battery frame), front independent strut/rear torsion beam suspension with double-piston shock absorbers provides a smooth ride. Handling is enhanced by the low noise, vibration and harshness e-powertrain, along with the low center of gravity and concentration of vehicle weight in the center of the vehicle.

The Infiniti LE Concept’s connectivity to the outside world includes the next generation of Infiniti Connection features, such as Infiniti Personal Assistant 24-hour concierge service, navigation, and POI search.

April 5, 2012 in Electric (Battery), Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

It seems that Nissan is very serious about the future BEV market. This is a beautiful car full of new technologies including wireless charging with batteries in the right place. By the time it comes out, superior batteries may be around for extended range.

Nissan is very serious, once they hit 500k a year then they start to take advantage of mass productions economies of scale.

The Infinity looks a lot like a Leaf with the top (just below the window sills) replaced.

I wonder how they boosted the power without changing the battery... perhaps they did change the chemistry but kept the capacity constant.

"..a coil encased on the garage floor.."

"..align the vehicle in the proper position over the wireless charging coil.."

These should not be necessary, the charge pad can lay on the floor and the area can be switched on depending on how the car was parked.

You might be amazed at how precise people park in their garages, they get used to doing it pretty much the same every time.

Please have a second look. This new Infinity is not a Leaf. It is a big car for the USA market.

I am surprised that they are even considering this. I would assume that they have enough market studies to show that it might sell. Tesla has the Model S and if they get enough of them out the door, we will see if it sells.

I am a believer in the EV commuter model, many in southern California commute 40 miles each way 250 days per year. Even with one driver they can save a bundle on fuel, with a car pool pal they save even more. HOWEVER, to be good accountants we need to pay for the battery pack replacement after 5 years and 100,000 miles, that blows the WHOLE savings right there.

Don't worry SJC...future batteries will last 15+ years.

As the zen master would say "we will see".

All that we know is that they do not right now, that is a fact and facts are all that we can go on, not wishes and hopes.

Looking into the future may be the smart way to buy the next car. Our HEV is coming and may be replaced with a PHEV with extended e-range or even a BEV in the mid-term future.

No one can look into the future, that is delusional. We can see past and present progress and project that into the future, but it is usually wrong, it is not linear.

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