GEORGIA, 2 September 2023: Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution have announced a substantial investment of USD 2bn in their joint electric vehicle (EV) plant in Georgia, solidifying their commitment to sustainable EV manufacturing. This partnership, launched three months ago, is set to play a crucial role in the production of lithium-ion batteries for Hyundai’s EVs. Let’s delve into the details of this exciting development and its implications for the EV market.
Expanding EV Battery Production in Georgia
The USD 2bn investment will not only increase the plant’s capacity but also create an additional 400 job opportunities. Located west of Savannah, the Georgia-based facility is expected to commence EV production in 2025. This latest announcement elevates the total investment in the Georgia plant to an impressive USD 7.5bn, with an overall workforce projection of 8,500 employees.
Sustainability and American Workers
José Muñoz, President and Global Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Motor Company, emphasized the commitment to sustainability and American workers, stating, “This incremental investment in Bryan County reflects our continued commitment to create a more sustainable future powered by American workers.” It underlines the importance of domestic production in achieving a greener and more sustainable future for the automotive industry.
Hyundai’s Ambitious Investment
In 2022, Hyundai initially pledged USD 5.5bn to establish EV and battery assembly operations across 2,900 acres in Ellabell, Georgia. The additional investment and job creation announced recently do not directly translate to an increase in battery production. The plant’s original capacity was set to supply batteries for 300,000 EVs annually, and this capacity remains unchanged.
However, Hyundai spokesperson Michael Stewart indicated that the plant has the potential to expand in response to market conditions and demand. This underscores Hyundai’s optimism regarding the transition to electric vehicles.
Georgia’s Role in the EV Revolution
Hyundai’s decision to build its first dedicated US EV manufacturing plant in Georgia was a historic moment, marked as the largest economic development project in the state’s history. Since the initial announcement, suppliers have committed to investing nearly USD 2.2bn and hiring 5,000 employees. This concerted effort is positioning Georgia as a leader in electric mobility.
The state of Georgia and local governments are providing additional incentives to support Hyundai and LG’s investment in the EV plant. While specific details will be disclosed later, these incentives are expected to include tax breaks and other financial perks. Already, the state and local governments have pledged USD 1.8bn in tax incentives and benefits, making it one of the largest subsidy packages ever offered to an automotive plant in the United States.
EV Tax Credits and Local Production
The investment in domestic EV production aligns with the US Inflation Reduction Act’s requirements. To qualify for a full USD 7,500 EV tax credit, EVs must be assembled in North America, with a certain percentage of their battery components originating from North America or a US free trade partner. Hyundai’s commitment to local production ensures its vehicles meet these criteria.
Hyundai’s Broader EV Initiatives
Hyundai’s need for batteries extends beyond its Ellabell plant. The company is already producing electric vehicles at its Montgomery, Alabama, facility and announced plans to assemble the electric Kia EV9 large SUV at the Kia plant in West Point, Georgia, in April. These developments underscore Hyundai’s commitment to the broader electrification of its vehicle lineup.
Hyundai and LG Energy Solution’s significant investment reaffirms their dedication to sustainable EV manufacturing in the United States. As the automotive industry rapidly transitions to electric mobility, these partnerships and investments are crucial steps in realizing a greener and more sustainable future. Stay tuned for more updates on Hyundai’s contributions to the electric vehicle revolution.