The total planned investment in the U.S. was increased from $1.67 billion (for the 1st plant) to $2.5 billion (two plants).

SK Innovation officially announced a significant increase of planned investment in the U.S. battery manufacturing capacity due to high anticipated consumer demand for electric cars.

The South Korean company already broke ground on the first plant at the Commerce site in Georgia in March 2019. The first plant with a manufacturing capacity of 9.8 GWh lithium-ion cells annually will start production in 2022. This part of the investment is $1.67 billion.

The initial investment plan was expanded to $2.5 billion in total, by a second plant in Commerce for a total output of 21.5 GWh annually, which was hinted at earlier this year.

The construction of the second gigafactory (we assume 11.7 GWh) will start later this year (in July 2020) and is expected to produce the first batteries from 2023.

SK Innovation's approach is one of the most ambitious in the industry, but it might not be the end. The company hints that in the future, the investment could be as much as $5 billion in its U.S., which would result in 6,000 new jobs.

SK Innovation CEO Jun Kim said:

"While the global community faces challenging times, SK Innovation believes it is important to continue making strategic investments to drive economic growth and meaningful change. With this investment, SK Innovation's battery business will significantly contribute to not only the local Georgia economy but the development of the U.S. EV industry value chain and ecosystem."

The total global manufacturing capacity of SK Innovation will be 60 GWh in 2022 and 71 GWh in 2023.

Updated list of SK Innovation battery projects and production capacity roadmap:

SK Innovation production capacity roadmap:

  • Today: around 5 GWh annually
  • by the end of 2019: 20 GWh annually
  • 2020: 40 GWh annually
  • 2022: 60 GWh annually
  • 2022: 71 GWh annually
  • 2025: 100 GWh annually and an order backlog of 700 GWh
  • 2030: 200 GWh annually

* data comes from multiple official and unofficial sources

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SK Innovation Increases Planned Investment in U.S. EV Battery Business to $2.5 Billion

Construction on Second Battery Plant in Georgia to Begin Later This Year

SEOUL, South Korea, April 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- SK Innovation announced today plans for additional investment in its U.S. battery business, following approval by the SK Innovation Board of Directors to fund the start of construction of a second electric vehicle battery plant in Georgia.

SK Innovation plans to invest a total of $2.5 billion in its U.S. battery business to build two plants at its site in Commerce, Ga., with a combined annual capacity of 21.5 GWh. SK Innovation initially announced a $1.67 billion investment at the Georgia site, but the board's decision expands the company's U.S. investment plans to help meet anticipated consumer demand for EVs in the U.S.

SK Innovation broke ground on the first plant at the Georgia site in March 2019 and is expected to begin mass production in 2022. Construction on the second plant is expected to begin in July at the same site with mass production to start in 2023. SK Innovation has said it could invest as much as $5 billion in its U.S. battery business and create as many as 6,000 jobs.

"While the global community faces challenging times, SK Innovation believes it is important to continue making strategic investments to drive economic growth and meaningful change," said SK Innovation CEO Jun Kim. "With this investment, SK Innovation's battery business will significantly contribute to not only the local Georgia economy but the development of the U.S. EV industry value chain and ecosystem."

When both plants are complete in 2023, the Georgia site will join facilities in Europe and Asia to give SK Innovation a projected annual global capacity of 71 GWh, making it one of the leading makers of EV batteries in the world.