Audi Scraps Plan to Sell All-Electric Supercar

Battery prices remain too high, and likley buyers too few

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

It turns out Audi won’t be offering an all-electric car anytime soon. The luxury German automaker, owned by Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY), has halted further work on the low-slung Audi R8 e-tron, sources told Car & Driver.

The R8 e-tron was unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show three years ago. Last year, the automaker indicated it would reach customers by about 2013.

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Sources inside Audi said continued development of the R8 e-tron was stopped by the company’s new R&D head. While the project hasn’t been officially scrapped yet, high battery costs, which haven’t declined as predicted, likely mean that the R8 e-tron won’t be hitting the streets in the foreseeable future.

Probably of more concern to Audi than the price of batteries, may be the limited interest consumers have shown in electric cars — and their high price tags.

Audi isn’t the only company having trouble producing electric vehicles. In recent government filings, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) disclosed that its component manufacturers had encountered production problems, resulting in lower-than-expect car deliveries and delays.

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