(REPOST: Oil Price.com)

Product announcements this week from Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand and Volkswagen’s Porsche division tap into a larger story from last year. While global automakers are watching what Tesla is up to, an announcement in July by near-luxury brand Volvo seems to have had just as much impact on new vehicle product planning.

The Japanese automaker is working to position Infiniti as the premier electrified brand in a five-year plan that will extend through 2022, according to Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa. These new Infiniti models will either be all-electric or will use its “e-power” hybrid system that creates power through an electric battery and a small gasoline engine.

Infiniti said it will introduce its first all-electric vehicle in 2021. The luxury brand expects that more than half of its global vehicle sales will be electric vehicles by 2025 through its five-year plan.

It’s Nissan’s first shift away from the flagship EV, the Nissan Leaf. A new version of the Leaf extends its per-charge driving range to nearly 200 miles.

Earlier in this decade, the company had set aside a plan to make a luxury-level version of the Leaf. The Infiniti brand opens to the door to an already loyal luxury customer base, which expects to see an innovative, high performance EV come to market.

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