Hyundai is expediting plans to start electric vehicle (EV) and battery production at its $7.6 billion complex in Georgia in response to federal EV incentives that reward domestic production. The company’s President and Global Chief Operating Officer, Jose Munoz, revealed the accelerated timeline during a partnership signing event with Georgia Tech. Munoz announced that Hyundai is doubling down on its efforts to begin production in Georgia by 2024 and potentially even earlier. The decision is driven by the Inflation Reduction Act, a federal law implemented by President Joe Biden that incentivizes EV buyers with a tax credit of up to $7,500, but exclusively for vehicles made in North America using domestic batteries.
Hyundai, along with other automakers who import EVs, have still benefitted from the law since dealers can apply the tax credit to leased EVs regardless of their country of origin. Munoz highlighted that Hyundai ranked second in terms of electric vehicle sales in the U.S. in the first half of 2023, a testament to the company’s commitment to the EV market. Nevertheless, the Inflation Reduction Act is pushing Hyundai to speed up battery and EV production in the U.S. Construction progress at the Georgia plant has remained on track, unaffected by Hurricane Idalia, and the company has increased its investment in battery production by an additional $2 billion.
The expanded investment will enable Hyundai to manufacture more batteries at the Georgia complex than originally planned, providing sufficient capacity for all 300,000 vehicles slated for assembly at the facility. Munoz stressed that the company aims to ensure their battery sourcing is 100% American to comply with the Inflation Reduction Act. Additionally, the increased investment will enable Hyundai and battery partner LG Energy Solution to utilize state-of-the-art technology in battery production.
Hyundai is committed to transitioning to fully electric vehicles and sees hybrid models as a “stepping stone” towards gasoline-free vehicles. The company is also exploring hydrogen fuel cell technology for heavy-duty trucks and long-distance vehicles, citing the technology as the most suitable for these applications. In this pursuit, Hyundai is partnering with Georgia Tech to leverage the university’s expertise in hydrogen research and explore advancements in fuel cell technology. It is expected that the partnership will also provide a pipeline for graduates to pursue job opportunities at Hyundai.
Sources: Associated Press