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Nissan delays luxury electric car launch

Nissan has temporarily put on hold the development of a luxury electric car, set to launch under its Infiniti brand, according to the Wall Street Journal today.

Plans for a luxury saloon electric car based on the Infiniti LE Concept, revealed at last year’s New York International Auto Show, have been halted as its maker awaits the near imminent arrival of advance and cheaper technology.

The Infiniti LE Concept

The firm originally announced that the car would be on sale by 2014. But Nissan’s executive vice president of Nissan, Andy Palmer has told the publication in an interview that advances in electric vehicle technology which are just over the horizon are worth putting plans on hold and waiting around for.

"Certain technologies that we see now, which we didn't see two years ago, are going to be available in a time frame that was relatively close to where we were going to introduce the Infiniti," Mr. Palmer said. "Rather than miss those opportunities, and then have to reconfigure the car to adopt them in its life cycle, what we wanted to do is to bring those from the beginning."

Mr. Palmer added that the company has decided to "push back the timing a little bit in order to give accessibility to those particular new innovations," however he refrained from specifying what exactly the advances were and how soon they could be implemented into a new luxury electric car.

When Infiniti does finally release its first electric car, it will face a growing field of competition from the likes of BMW, Tesla and Cadillac.

The car is likely to base much of its drivetrain on Nissan’s first electric car; the LEAF hatchback, but new technology could improve driving range, performance and charging time.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Electric cars, Nissan

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