Daimler says EVs on target after report of launch delays

BERLIN — Daimler said planned launches of electrified vehicles including the new EQC SUV were on schedule following a report in Germany’s Handelsblatt that they were facing delays because of battery shortages and other technical problems.

The German business daily on Monday said that Daimler’s new EQC SUV will not arrive at 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 plug-in hybrid version of Mercedes’ next S-class flagship model 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 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 issue for vehicle electrification as more automakers shift their model lineups to EVs and plug-in hybrids.

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

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