Mercedes halves EV production target due to battery shortage - Manager Magazin

FRANKFURT, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Daimler has been forced to reduce production targets for its Mercedes-Benz EQC electric car from about 60,000 to 30,000 this year, due to a supply shortage of battery cells from LG Chem, Manager Magazin said on Thursday.

Daimler wanted to sell around 25,000 EQC vehicles in 2019, but only managed to build around 7,000 Manager Magazin said.

Daimler was not immediately available for comment.

The 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 by 2021, according to forecasting group PA Consulting. If it fails to make progress cutting its CO2 footprint, Daimler faces a fine of 997 million euros ($1.1 billion), PA Consulting said in report published earlier this month.

In 2018, average CO2 emissions in the European Union rose by 1.6% to 120.4 grams per kilometre 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. ($1 = 0.9014 euros) (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)