Recently, the Audi e-tron, which has been postponed, has finally been delivered in volume. This is a delight for Audi and even the Volkswagen Group. Because e-tron is Audi's first pure electric vehicle and the Volkswagen Group's first flagship pure electric vehicle, it is an important step for Volkswagen Group to enter electricization.
The Audi e-tron electric car, which was originally planned to be launched in 2018, was forced to postpone the time to market due to battery and software problems. The electric car may face the same problem.
Audi e-tron production has fallen by half due to insufficient battery capacity. In this regard, the person in charge of Audi explained: "Each new car will reduce production schedules due to various conditions at the beginning of mass production. In the future, we will gradually increase the production of e-tron."
It is true that the battery problem is not the first time it has appeared on the Audi e-tron. Audi is not the only car company that has been plagued by this problem.
Previously, the modern Kona electric vehicle, which was in full swing, had to reduce production due to insufficient battery supply. Data show that in November and December of 2018, Hyundai Kona accumulated more than 10,000 units, but the total output in January and February of 2019 was only 5,242 units, even less than the previous month's sales.
Interestingly, the two battery suppliers are the same as LG Chem. If the battery supply problem is not solved well, LG Chem will hinder the electrification of modern and mass.
Not long ago, Volkswagen Group said in the 2018 annual report and the 2019 outlook that Volkswagen will accelerate the electrification process. The plan to launch 50 pure electric vehicles was planned to be changed to 70 in 2028, and the production plan of the MEB platform was adjusted from 15 million to 22 million.
In addition, Volkswagen has jointly announced that BMW and Daimler will focus on electric vehicles in the next decade. The decisions of the three auto companies have had a huge impact on the industry and the supply chain.
According to data from the TGII, in 2018, three automakers, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, sold more than 16 million vehicles worldwide. In the future, when the three automakers are all electrified, according to the calculation of 50KW battery per electric vehicle, the demand for the three batteries will be huge.
However, the current power battery as part of the electric vehicle accounts for a very high proportion of the BOM cost of the whole vehicle, which is about 40-50%. This would mean that the entire vehicle company would sell an electric vehicle under very difficult conditions and distribute 50% of its turnover to the power battery manufacturer.
In the traditional fuel vehicle sector, the power system accounts for about 20% of the total vehicle cost, but no company has given the development and manufacture of its core engines and variable boxes to third parties.
The battery supply problem of the Audi e-tron has caused automakers to panic about the supply of batteries. Coupled with the high battery cost, car manufacturers are working hard to get rid of the status quo.
Recently, with the support of the German government and the European Union, Volkswagen Group and Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt jointly led the formation of the European Battery Alliance, with more than 30 members. The main goal of the European Battery Alliance is to build a wider range of experience in battery cell production.
In addition, all research results of the European Battery Alliance will be shared by all multinational partners. Cooperative research activities will be launched in early 2020.
As traditional automakers accelerate the transformation of electrification, the shortage of battery capacity will continue to emerge. How to solve the contradiction between supply and demand is still in front of automobile manufacturing.