Audi uses batteries made by LG Chem for the e-Tron. Battery constraints also impacted e-Tron production last year.
- Audi's electric e-Tron SUV is in the middle of a production stoppage due to a battery shortage, Bloomberg reports.
- The pause began on February 20 and will end on Tuesday, an Audi representative told Bloomberg.
- Automakers have been investing in joint ventures with battery companies as they plan to significantly increase electric-vehicle production over the next decade, and this shortage shows why.
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Production of Audi's e-Tron electric SUV has been on pause since February 20 and will not resume until Tuesday, Bloomberg reports. The stoppage is to "resolve production issues" including bottlenecks in battery supply, the story said.
Benjamin Everaert, a reporter for the Belgian newspaper L'Echo, first reported the production stoppage.
Bloomberg cited a company spokesperson in its report, who said Audi sold roughly 26,400 e-Trons last year but would not comment on estimated deliveries for 2020. Audi of America reported 5,369 in e-Tron sales in 2019, representing 2.4% of sales in the region.
But the e-Tron, Audi's first all-electric production model, hasn't had the easiest time in terms of batteries. The automaker uses battery cells made by LG Chem for the vehicle, and battery constraints also impacted e-Tron production last year.
Securing a stable battery supply has become a priority for some automakers as they plan to ramp up electric-vehicle production over the next decade. Aside from Audi, Jaguar and Hyundai have also faced electric-vehicle production delays due to battery constraints.
To increase control over their battery supply and drive down costs (the battery pack is the most expensive part of an electric vehicle), automakers like Tesla, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen AG, Audi's parent company, are investing in joint ventures with battery manufacturers like Panasonic and LG Chem. Tesla started the trend by opening a battery factory in Nevada with Panasonic in 2016, and GM and LG Chem announced last year that they will invest up to $2.3 billion in a battery factory in Ohio.
But even a targeted investment cannot always prevent battery shortages. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last year that Panasonic was holding back production of Tesla's Model 3 sedan by not making enough batteries.
LG Chem declined to comment to Business Insider, and Audi did not respond to a request for comment.