Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co is in discussions with officials in the US state of Georgia to begin construction on a new EV plant in the state, people with knowledge of its plans said. The new facility would be located near existing plants in West Point which make Hyundai and Kia branded vehicles, they said.
Hyundai Motor confirmed it plans a new EV facility in the US soon, but did not give any further details.
“We are excited to announce a new EV plant plan in the United States soon, but we do not have details to share at this stage,” Hyundai said in a statement.
The new Georgia EV facility would support Hyundai and Kia as they introduce new models, including fully electric SUVs targeting the the US market, the three people familiar with the project said.
The communications director for Georgia’s Economic Department told Asia Financial “We do not comment on speculation about economic development projects.”
If confirmed, the deal would follow quickly on the heels of a December 2020 announcement to invest some $240 million to build a 620,000-square foot transmission factory to be operated by subsidiary company Hyundai Transys, located in West Point next an existing Hyundai Transys factory and a Kia Motors Corp factory. Hyundai also announced a $300-million investment to make the all-electric Genesis GV 70 and a hybrid version of the Santa Fe at its nearby Alabama plant. The Genesis would be Hyundai’s first EV made in the US.
US President Joe Biden has been pushing for more investment in EVs and related suppliers, which he says will create jobs and but also support clean energy policies. Georgia would also score, as the state has positioned itself as a regional hub for the emerging EV industry.
Hyundai affiliate Kia also said last month that it was looking to shift production to the United States but was not considering a dedicated EV factory on its own.
Kia has said it will have 14 EVs by 2027. Hyundai has said it will roll out 17 by 2030, including six for its luxury Genesis brand.
Hyundai’s battery supplier, SK Innovation’s battery unit SK On, has just built two adjacent plants in Georgia. The first, which mostly supplies Volkswagen AG, kicked off production in the first quarter. The second, which will supply batteries for Ford Motor Co, is set to begin production early next year.
Biden is set to travel to South Korea on May 20 for meetings with South Korea’s incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol, who advocates better ties with the US.
The Biden administration has said it will allocate more than $3 billion in infrastructure funding to finance EV manufacturing. Biden wants half of vehicles sold in the US to be electric by 2030.
Other Asian companies that have announced plans to build US battery plants include Korea’s LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI.
Reuters reported earlier this month that CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, was in talks to open battery plants that would serve BMW and Ford with potential sites in South Carolina and Kentucky.
- Reuters, with editing by Neal McGrath