Report: Battery Shortage Has Mercedes-Benz's Newest EV Struggling to Clear the Tower

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The countdown to Mercedes-Benz EQC production last year was preceded by stories about the model’s anticipated range and uncontroversial styling, but when the time came to get EQCs into the hands of buyers, the electric crossover had trouble leaving the launch pad.

Not long after reports emerged of the EQC’s U.S. arrival being delayed by a full year, a German outlet claims Mercedes-Benz has chopped its 2020 production target in half.

Manager Magazin stated Thursday that a battery cell supply issue has forced the automaker to drop its production target from 60,000 to 30,000 for the current year, Reuters reports. Mercedes-Benz’s battery provider, LG Chem, sits at the heart of the issue.

While the production prediction could place the automaker in hot water with EU regulators, the supply issue doesn’t look like a new thing. Mercedes-Benz had hoped to deliver 25,000 EQCs in calendar year 2019, Manager Magazin reports, but only managed to get off about 7,000 of them.

As production struggles to ramp up, German and European customers will obviously be first in line to receive a vehicle they likely have already reserved. Whether Mercedes-Benz can build enough of them to offset enough of its gas- and diesel-burning products remains to be seen. A recent report claimed the automaker could be on the hook for $1.1 billion in emissions-related fines if it doesn’t get its environmental act together.

Under a new emissions mandate that goes into effect this year, all automakers who exceed their newly lowered fleetwide emissions limits will have to pay the piper. The required reductions are not small, leaving many automakers — Mercedes-Benz among them — contemplating model or engine culls. That, or turning certain models or configurations into limited-availability offerings.

The EQC was expected to arrive this spring in the United States. Recently, dealers were told that its journey stateside won’t occur for at least a year, placing its entry date in spring or early summer of 2021. The delay hands an advantage to rivals like Audi and BMW.

[Image: Daimler AG]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Offbeat Oddity Offbeat Oddity on Jan 23, 2020

    My family and I drove a 2019 RAV4 as a rental and had mixed feelings about it. Pros were that it rode and handled well. It also got 31 mpg overall despite the fact that it had to be driven aggressively on MA's roads- we only filled it up once during the week we drove it. Cons were that my mom and I found the rear seats very uncomfortable. You sat low in the seat, and it reminded me of sitting in a car. We also noticed that the engine was quite load and that the interior materials- at least in the back- were low rent and nothing special.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jan 25, 2020

    "The delay hands an advantage to rivals like Audi and BMW" You mean the company whose EV CUV effort is equally overexpensive and underwhelming, and the company that hasn't got one? You don't think the advantage goes to -- oh God, can you get the word past your lips? -- Tesla? The company that was smart enough to make batteries in house, BTW? JFC. The only thing more annoying than a Tesla superfan is a Tesla hater.

  • YellowDuck Really surprised it's only 1/3. Lack of Android Auto would be a dealbreaker for me. At this point I might even say it needs to be wireless. I can't believe any manufacturer would still be trying to sell built in nav as like a $1500 option. Must sell it to people with flip phones.
  • Mike Beranek Great subject for a multi-part piece. There's a lovely DTS for sale near my work... does anyone have a year that the Northstar becomes buyable? I've heard both 2005 and 2007.
  • Parkave231 Looking forward to this deep dive, Corey. My '02 Deville was right on the cusp of when they "fixed" the head bolt issues, but I really don't know if mine was one of the improved ones. Still, it never gave me problems during ownership, aside from the stupid intake plenum duct issue, which was the one time I'll admit I bit off a little more than I could chew.Smooth engine, decent low-end torque for an OHC engine, and whisper quiet. I got great gas mileage out of it too. But how could GM ever screw up head issues on two V8s in a row?
  • Mike Beranek I wouldn't want to own this car. But I sure would love to borrow it.
  • CFS I can’t believe these comments aren’t 100% in favor of CarPlay/Android Auto. They don’t add much for music and other audio that you don’t get with just a Bluetooth connection, but they make navigation so so much better. Why is it better? Because inputting the destination address is so much easier. And I don’t need to think about updating my car’s maps. Plus, I can switch between Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, or whatever else seems best suited for my trip. Hands-free calling features are OK, but not such a big deal for me.