FRANKFURT – Daimler has been forced to reduce its 2020 production targets for the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric car to 30,000 from about 60,000 due to a supply shortage of battery cells from LG Chem, Manager Magazin reported on Thursday.
Daimler wanted to sell around 25,000 EQC vehicles in 2019, but only managed to build around 7,000 for the same reason, Manager Magazin said.
Daimler declined to comment on the article.
The battery cell supply bottleneck comes as carmakers face huge fines next year if they fail to cut their fleet emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to an average 95 grams per kilometre.
Carmakers have been given individual targets based on the weight and size of their vehicle fleet.
Daimler had average fleet emissions of 130.4 grams in 2018 and needs to hit a target of 103.1 grams per km by 2021, PA Consulting has forecast.
If Daimler fails to cut its CO2 footprint, it faces a fine of 997 million euros ($1.1 billion), PA Consulting said in a report published this month.
In 2018, average CO2 emissions in the European Union rose by 1.6% to 120.4 grams per km as customers abandoned diesel vehicles and gravitated towards buying bigger vehicles. Figures for 2019 are not yet available.
Daimler’s works council chief Michael Brecht told Manager Magazin that one of the reasons the company is struggling to meet battery demand is because Tesla bought Grohmann Engineering, a battery automation specialist hired by Mercedes-Benz to build up its own battery manufacturing capacity.
This caused problems for Daimler which was in the midst of ramping up electric car battery production at its electric vehicle battery production unit Deutsche Accumotive.
The launch of the EQC has been hampered by production problems, including a recall last October after Daimler identified a potentially defective bolt in the differential.
Germany’s Auto Bild magazine said the launch of the Mercedes EQC in North America has been postponed by a year, until 2021, because of the production problems.
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