Audi e-tron facing battery shortages
Audi is delaying production of its all-electric e-tron SUV due to a shortage in battery supply.
The factory building the SUV has cut back from eight hours of production per day to six and is looking at cutting back to four days of activity instead of five. While the extra day off is probably appreciated by the workers, it means production numbers would be cut by 10,000 cars annually, from more than 55,000 to just over 45,000 in 2019. Waitlists in Europe have thus extended from 4-5 months to 6-7 months, compounded by demand increasing by around 15 per cent.
A shortage of batteries from supplier LG Chem is the main reason behind the delay. Last year, LG raised prices on its batteries by ten per cent, partially leading to the shortage. The company also supplies batteries to Hyundai, Volkswagen, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Additionally impacting e-tron production is a lack of electric motors coming from the company’s Hungarian factory, the result of a worker strike.
According to German reports, the upcoming e-tron Sportback, a hatchback version of the e-tron SUV, has been delayed to 2020. This likely means the rest of the e-tron family, including the GT sports sedan, a smaller Q4-sized SUV and a new electric supercar will be pushed back as well.
We’ve reached out to Audi NZ to see if the e-tron is still due to arrive here by the middle of 2019 and will update when we get a reply.