Hyundai, LG Announce $4.3 Billion Electric Vehicle Battery Plant in Georgia
By JEFF AMY Associated Press
Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution have announced they will build a $4.3 billion electric battery plant as part of Hyundai’s new electric vehicle assembly plant in southeast Georgia.
The companies will split the investment, starting production as soon as late 2025.
Hyundai Motor Co. CEO Jaehoon Chang said in a statement that the battery plant would “create a strong foundation to lead the global EV transition,” explaining the company wants to speed up efforts to produce electrified Hyundai and Kia vehicles in North America.
“Hyundai Motor Group is focusing on its electrification efforts to secure a leadership position in the global auto industry,” Chang said.
The company is already assembling electric vehicles at its plant in Montgomery and announced in April it would start assembling its electric Kia EV9 large SUV at the Kia plant in West Point, Georgia.
The South Korean automaker said in 2022 it would invest $5.5 billion to assemble electric vehicles and batteries in Ellabell, just west of Savannah. The site is supposed to have 8,100 employees and is slated to begin producing vehicles in 2025.
Garrison Douglas, a spokesperson for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, said the 3,000-job battery plant would be part of the 8,100 overall jobs and the $4.3 billion investment would be part of the previously announced $5.5 billion total.
The Hyundai/LG plant is supposed to be able to supply batteries for 300,000 electric vehicles per year, which is the initial projected production of the adjoining vehicle assembly plant. Hyundai has said the Georgia plant could later expand to build 500,000 vehicles annually.
In addition to the assembly and battery plants, auto parts suppliers have pledged to invest more than $2 billion and hire 4,800 people in the region around the Hyundai site.
The announcements are part of an electric vehicle and battery land rush across the United States. Under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, EVs must be assembled in North America, and a certain percentage of their battery parts and minerals must come from North America or a U.S. free trade partner to qualify for a full $7,500 EV tax credit.
Currently, no Hyundai or Kia vehicles are eligible for the tax credit unless they are leased. Hyundai opposed having foreign-made vehicles excluded, in part because it’s building American factories.
LG said this would be its seventh battery plant in operation or under construction in the U.S., saying it was concentrating efforts to expand production in the country, in one example of how federal incentives are luring manufacturers.
This is the second huge electric battery plant that Hyundai is partnering to build in Georgia. Hyundai and SK On, a unit of South Korea’s SK Group, announced in December they would jointly invest $4 billion to $5 billion to build a new plant northwest of Atlanta that would supply electric batteries for Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles assembled in the U.S. That plant, in Cartersville, is planned to begin production in 2025 and employ a projected 3,500 people.
(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)