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

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]

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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."

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    • 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.

  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. The idea of a self-driving vehicle has commercial appeal. But at this point, consumers aren't willing to pay to put their lives in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?
  • Sobro My 2012 Yukon had only the passenger side ignitor recalled. Makes me wonder what penny pinching GM did for the driver's airbag.