Audi is postponing the release of the E-tron electric car and cutting production plans.
Audi has delayed deliveries of its first flagship electric car, the E-tron, indefinitely. The reason for the delay was a shortage of batteries manufactured by the South Korean supplier LG Chem, according to The Brussels Times.
Earlier, the German manufacturer announced that the appearance of the first E-tron on sale should be expected in 1-2 months. Now it is reported about 6-7 months, and even that is inaccurate. The Brussels Times also revealed that the automaker will only produce 45,242 E-trons this year, instead of 55,830 as originally planned.
LG Chem is a major supplier of lithium-ion batteries to automakers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Daimler. And these automotive giants plan in the future to either build their own battery factories or partner with suppliers to produce batteries together, as happened with Tesla and Panasonic. But until the plants are built, they are at the mercy of suppliers such as LG Chem. The Brussels Times reports that LG Chem is exploiting this situation by raising the price of its batteries, which already happened last October.
The fate of E-tron is not going well. At first Audi company delayed its launch after its CEO was arrested for alleged involvement in the Dieselgate scandal. E-tron deliveries were then delayed due to software update issues. This time, according to sources from Audi itself, there are no difficulties with the production of an electric car. The problem is only in the supply of batteries.
It is also not clear how the fate of the Audi e-Tron Sportback electric sports car will turn out. Most likely, the company will not be able to keep its promise to start selling it in 2019 and will postpone this event to 2020.