Nissan's luxury brand Infinity transitioning to electric luxury brand

Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan, is embracing electric vehicles and electrification of all new Infiniti models, with the exception of some large SUVs, will start in 2021, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said yesterday at the Automotive News World Congress, a conference held alongside the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

According to the automaker, the new models will be either all-electric vehicles or its ''e-power'' vehicles, which use an electric battery and a small gas engine. Infiniti will be introducing its first all-electric vehicle in 2021.

With the move, by 2025, Infiniti expects over half of its global sales to comprise electric vehicles.

Infiniti is the latest automaker to start transitioning its portfolio away from internal gas combustion engines.

Infiniti's parent company Nissan was an early leader in all-electric vehicles and had last year introduced a revamped version of its Leaf electric vehicle that costs nearly $29,000 and can travel about 150 miles on a single charge.

The announcement comes after similar pledges by other automakers, including Volvo to make a similar move in 2019.

According to commentators, the move spells another blow for the internal combustion engine, though most experts say it would be several decades to transition completely to electric vehicles.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told Automotive News World Congress that electric vehicles are a good fit for the Infiniti brand as it switches to fully electric cars or models with electric motors and a small gas engine.

"This is going to be a unique sales point for Infiniti," he said at the event, which is taking place near the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

The company has, however lost much ground on electric car sales, yielding space to Silicon Valley automaker Tesla in luxury electric cars, and Detroit automaker General Motors taking the sales lead in mass-market electric cars with the Chevrolet Bolt.

"Our strategy is to continue to be in a leading position" in electric cars," Saikawa said yesterday.