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Infiniti Considering First Electric Car

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author photo by Lindsay Martell November 2016

Nissan is no stranger to the electric-vehicle (EV) market. In 2011, the Leaf was named World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show. Now, the Japanese automaker may be considering a purely electric Infiniti -- just for the Chinese market.

It's not too surprising that Nissan is mulling over a new electric car, as 2016 has been a banner year for EVs, with the segment seeing huge sales in September and October despite massively low gas prices.

A Far-East Future

"When I think about EV, we design it for China definitely, even as the first market to launch," Infiniti President Roland Krueger said in an interview in Hong Kong recently, according to a Bloomberg report. "We are discussing [...] internally constantly what is the right timing for Infiniti to have such vehicles."

Currently, Infiniti now has nine models in China: five SUVs and four sedans. Six of those are gasoline-powered, while the others are hybrid vehicles.

According to Kruger's comments in the Bloomberg report, Infiniti -- which has delayed the production of an all-electric sedan based on its LE concept car shown in 2012 -- appears to be zeroing in on hybrid models that have better range.

Getting In on the Game

Infiniti joins the ranks of other automakers -- Tesla Motors and BMW, for example -- that are counting on China to drive EV sales. Last year, the country surpassed the United States to become the world's largest EV market after the government built a charging infrastructure and offered to subsidize purchases.

China-based customers interested in an Infiniti EV may not have to wait long. Krueger said the company could be "very fast" in putting the electric car on the market once a decision is reached.

Wondering who will be the next automaker to announce news of their own EV? Well, 2016 isn't over yet.

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Infiniti Considering First Electric Car - Autotrader