Infiniti’s Stunning Low-Carbon Concept

Infiniti’s EMERG-E Concept hybrid unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show is nothing if not gorgeous.

Infiniti’s EMERG-E Concept hybrid unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show is nothing if not gorgeous. It is a 402-bhp, mid-engine (a three-cylinder, “range extender” internal combustion engine) vehicle that has two lithium-ion–battery-powered electric motors to drive the wheels—drive them so that the car can go zero to 130 mph in 30-seconds. It can operate purely on electricity for about 30 miles. Presumably not when the accelerator is fully depressed for long periods.

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Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s senior vice president and chief creative officer, observes, “It is elegant yet dynamic, and has graceful power. Mid-ship cars are usually less refined, but the body of INFINITI EMERG-E is like silk wrapping over the wheels.”

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That wrapping is 175.7 inches long and covers two seats inside the vehicle, which was developed in Europe (a first for Infiniti). Infiniti has actually become a part of the United Kingdom’s Technology Strategy Board, which is dedicated to developing low-carbon vehicles.

Which brings up a small but interesting aspect of this low-carbon approach. The vehicle includes Scottish leather sourced from Bridge of Weir Leather Company. This is not just any leather, but is “low carbon” leather. That’s because Bridge of Weir processes it in a plant that it opened in 2010 that uses what would otherwise be landfill waste and uses it to generate heat and steam. Yes, to borrow a phrase from Anthony Bourdain, they’re using the “nasty bits” that are left over from leather processing to generate energy.

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What’s more, the leather comes from British beef cattle, which means that this is local sourcing, which cuts down on carbon emissions from transport.

Every little bit matters.