Battery shortage causes shutdown of I-Pace production

Global demand for electric vehicles (EVs) hit record highs in 2019, as countries continue to incentivise and promote an electric switch to lower carbon emissions.

However, the newfound popularity of these vehicles is having an effect on battery suppliers, who are struggling to provide the large quantities of batteries required by manufacturers.

Jaguar Land Rover are the latest brand to be affected by supply delays, with the company having no choice but to shut down manufacturing of the I-Pace for a week from Monday 17 February, as they wait for more batteries to arrive.

While the I-Pace is manufactured at a factory in Graz, Austria, batteries are sourced externally through LG and are delivered from a factory in Poland.

The I-Pace, which was crowned World Car of the Year in 2019, sold over 18,000 units last year as it became one of the world’s favourite EVs.  The vehicle even made up 7 percent of Jaguars Australian sales, with 155 models purchased here.

In a statement to The Verge, the company said it was working to resolve the issue with minimal impact on customers.

“Jaguar Land Rover has adjusted production schedules of the Jaguar I-Pace in Graz due to temporary supplier scheduling issues. We are working with the supplier to resolve this and minimise impact on customer orders.”

This isn’t the first time a manufacturer has had issues due to LG facing a battery shortage.

In April 2019, Audi had to delay deliveries of the E-tron due to a lack of batteries from supplier LG, while Mercedes-Benz allegedly reduced their goals for EQC deliveries due to a similar issue last month.

The latest Jaguar Land Rover delays highlights a pressing issue across the automotive manufacturing industry.

Sourcing materials required to build the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs is far more time consuming than internal combustion engines. Add to that the rapidly increasing interest in purchasing the vehicles and a general lack of mass battery producers and it is clear that demand for EVs is growing much faster than the supply can handle.

To combat this, car manufacturers are signing deals with battery manufacturers to guarantee battery supply.

Volkswagen has deals in place with LG Chem, Samsung and SK Innovation that total $50 billion to provide batteries for the foreseeable future, while Tesla signed with LG Chem and Contemporary Amperex Technology to supply batteries to their Shanghai factory.

Tesla also have a partnership in place with Panasonic, who have produced batteries for the Model 3 at their Nevada assembly plant since 2011.

Source: The Verge | Jaguar will pause I-Pace production because of battery shortage

12 Feb 2020