German automaker Audi has announced that it is slashing production of electric vehicles (EVs) and halted future plans as demand for the products has plummeted.
Audi, which is owned by auto giant Volkswagen, revealed that demand for expensive EVs has now fizzled as consumers are put off by high prices and poor infrastructure.
The company says consumers are instead choosing gas-powered vehicles.
As Slay News has reported, car and truck dealers across America have been warning that their lots are stacking up with EVs that they can’t sell.
Thousands of American auto dealers have signed a letter to Joe Biden, urging the Democrat president to scrap his electric vehicle (EV) mandate.
The group of 3,700 dealerships, which collectively sell every major brand of automakers in the United States, warn Biden that consumers are not interested in EVs.
After initial interest in the expensive vehicles, consumers have gone cold on EVs for various reasons.
In their letter to Biden, auto dealers warn that the president’s push to make two out of every three new cars sold by 2032 to be electric was highly unrealistic.
The industry experts insist that the demand for electric vehicles is no longer there to justify the shift.
They note that dealers across the country are no longer able to sell EVs due to the lack of consumer interest in the vehicles.
However, they state that they are under pressure to stock EVs because of federal regulations.
While there were good options for people wishing to buy electric vehicles, “the reality, however, is that electric vehicle demand today is not keeping up with the large influx of BEVs [Battery Electric Vehicle] arriving at our dealerships prompted by the current regulations.
“BEVs are stacking up on our lots.”
Meanwhile, several major U.S. automakers announced in October that they are scaling back production of EVs amid declining consumer interest and slow sales.
In a seemingly coordinated move, Ford, Honda, and General Motors all announced significant rollbacks of EV production.
The issue with EVs appears to be global.
Audi boss Gernot Döllner said that he wants to avoid flooding dealerships and factories with the vehicles as sales slow, according to the Telegraph.
“The advantage of EVs (electric vehicles) is becoming visible to consumers step by step,” Döllner told Bloomberg News.
In the U.K., official forecasts for electric car take-up were slashed by almost half last month.
Sales of new battery-powered cars were expected to grow steadily until they accounted for 67% of the market by 2027, according to a prediction issued in March.
But that figure has now been revised down to just 38% by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which said the take-up of EVs has been slowing.
Döllner, who was an executive at Audi’s upmarket stablemate Porsche, was hired in the summer to reinvigorate the mid-market brand, on which Volkswagen relies for a large chunk of its profits.
Audi, whose electric models include the $88,000 Q8 e-tron, faces cheaper competition from China, which is also a key market for Volkswagen’s brands.
While electric cars can be cheaper to run, their initial price remains stubbornly higher than gas and diesel models.
However, electric vehicles rely on lower-cost home charging units to remain cheap.
When EVs use public charging stations, they can end up costing more to run than traditional gas-powered vehicles.
It comes as electric car sales fell by the most on record in Europe last month following U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s climbdown on banning gas-powered models.
Sales of EVs plummeted by 17% from November last year, according to the statistics published by industry group the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The drop beat a 9.7% fall in April 2020, when showrooms closed due to lockdown restrictions, and a 7.9% decline in the early days of EV sales in March 2008.
The U.K. Government pushed back a gas car sales ban from 2030 to 2035 in a move that carmakers warned could knock consumer confidence in EVs.
Much of the 17% EV sales drop from last year was due to a glut of deliveries in 2022 following months of supply problems.