Audi E-Tron Delayed As EVs Suffer From Global Supply Issues

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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audi e tron delayed as evs suffer from global supply issues

Audi’s first electric sport utility vehicle, the much-touted E-Tron, will arrive at dealerships a month later than anticipated. According to the automaker, a software development issue has stymied the rollout.

While nothing has reportedly busted, Audi claims it needs to obtain the necessary regulatory clearances for some ones and zeros that were modified during the development process. Normally, we would assume the applicable agencies would have been informed of this in advance, but we don’t know what Audi changed. All the manufacturer admits to is that alterations were made to benefit the customer.

German outlet Bild am Sonntag claims things were a little more complicated, however. In addition to speculating that the delay could actually stretch out for several months, the publication claimed Audi had issues with its battery supplier, LG Chem. The South-Korean supplier is rumored to have raised its battery prices by 10 percent due to swelling demand — threatening a supplier bottleneck for all of Volkswagen Group’s electric vehicles.

“We [typically] do not comment on topics such as price negotiations with suppliers,” an Audi spokesman told the outlet in German.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise for those keeping tabs on electric cars. While automakers have been bullish in their promotion of EVs, they know that demand will likely remain relatively low over the next few years. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from suffering from supply issues.

Practically every manufacturer selling a battery-electric vehicle has hit a snag. Last year, Hyundai encountered unanticipated demand for the Ioniq EV and was unable to cope while Tesla’s Model 3 struggled to hit production targets in 2018 — due to inadequate tooling at its own battery plant. Meanwhile, Buick said it was forced to delay the launch of the Velite EV in China in late summer due to an issue with its battery supplier.

[Images: Audi]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • Fazalmajid Fazalmajid on Oct 22, 2018

    I've never believed the FUD vaporware announcements of the German brands. They are so far behind (not just Tesla but also Renault/Nissan, GM and even Jaguar) they don't even know what they don't know. Like the fact Tesla consumed half the world's supply of 18650 cells even before the model 3, and if you haven't made supply chain arrangements like the gigafactory, you’re not even an also-ran.

    • See 5 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 24, 2018

      @conundrum: Flat pack cells make sense for packaging, but they are harder to cool and more expensive to build than round cells. The Tesla 2170 cell is a co-design between Tesla and Panasonic; Tesla isn't just buying it from a catalog. While you mock the genius of Tesla's approach to battery design and production, you can't show the genius of their competitors who have used alternative approaches, and whom together now occupy 25% of the US EV market. Here's another reason other mfrs don't use round cells - they can't actually buy them because Tesla has dominated the 18650 market for years.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Oct 23, 2018

    At least Sergio had the gnocchi to just say "please don't buy a 500e, we lose money on those."

    • See 1 previous
    • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 24, 2018

      @SCE to AUX Chrysler, stand behind a product? You're funny. They've been especially awful to green buyers. Build the Aspen Hybrid, only to immediately discontinue it. Build the 500e, and deliver it with never-fixed defective software (hint to new owners: always wait for an audible clunk from the battery contactors before plugging in). Build the magnificent Pacifica plug-in Hybrid, roll out a mandatory software update that can cause the car to catch fire, then stop short of ordering a recall to fix your potentially deadly defective update. Not cool, FCA.

  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.