Hyundai quickens Georgia EV plant construction to get IRA incentives

Hyundai quickens Georgia EV plant construction to get IRA incentives

South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company is actively pursuing an accelerated timeline for the construction of a new manufacturing plant in the US state of Georgia so that it can benefit from the federal government’s electric vehicle (EV) incentives that specifically favour local production.

By expediting the construction of its Georgia-based manufacturing plant, called the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America complex, the company will not only be able to further bolster its presence in the country’s growing EV market but also maximize its eligibility for the federal government’s attractive EV incentives that are playing a crucial role in drawing buyers.

Jose Munoz, Hyundai global Chief Operating Officer (COO), told reporters that the South Korean company's new aim is to start production of EVs and batteries in Georgia sometime in 2024.

Emphasizing the company's accelerated push towards commencing EV and battery production at the $7.6 billion Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America complex in coastal Georgia, COO Munoz cited the federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a driving force behind the company’s quickened construction efforts. With its new aim to start production as soon as next year, Hyundai has also forged partnerships with institutions like Georgia Tech to further research in the field of emissions-free vehicles and develop a skilled workforce for their future plans.

Speaking on the topic, Munoz said, “What we decided is to double down. We try to accelerate as much as possible, the project. And we are confident that the original date of January 2025 would be probably pulled ahead maybe three months or so. If we can, even more.”

The automotive giant, in partnership with its battery partner LG Energy Solution, has recently increased its investment in battery production at the Georgia complex by committing an additional amount of $2 billion. The two partners also committed to hire an additional 400 employees. This expansion will increase the total workforce at the site to 8,500 individuals.

According to Munoz, the aforementioned strategic move will enable the company to produce a greater number of battery packs in Ellabell than initially envisioned. The increased capacity will support the battery needs for all 300,000 EVs slated to be assembled at the facility each year.

Construction at the mega manufacturing plant is now progressing quickly, and it remained unaffected by last month’s Hurricane Idalia. The Korean manufacturing giant stands to potentially pocket $2.1 billion in state and local tax incentives for its Georgia facility. In exchange, the company has made commitment to providing workers an annual average salary of $58,105, coupled with various benefits.

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