June 4, 2018 / 7:02 PM / 2 years ago

Daimler says electric cars on target after report of launch delays

FILE PHOTO: The Daimler logo is seen before the Daimler annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said planned launches of battery-powered luxury cars were on schedule on Monday following a report in Germany’s Handelsblatt that they were facing delays because of battery shortages and other technical problems.

The German business daily said that Daimler’s new “EQC” electric midsize sport-utility vehicle will not hit dealerships until June 2019, several months after originally planned.

But a spokesman at Daimler’s Stuttgart headquarters said it has not yet specified a launch date for the EQC model.

Handelsblatt also reported that a battery-powered version of Mercedes’ redesigned S-Class flagship saloon will not be available until 2021, a year after the combustion engine model is due to come to market, citing unnamed Daimler sources.

The Daimler spokesman told Reuters that development of a plug-in hybrid version of the new S-Class was going to plan.

“We are on target, there are no delays,” he said.

Battery production could become a major choke point for vehicle electrification as more automakers shift their model lineups to electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids.

By 2022, Mercedes plans to offer an electric version of every model it sells, with a total of at least 50 electric or hybrid models for sale. The Smart brand will stop offering cars with combustion engines altogether in 2020.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Alexander Smith

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