Hyundai Motor Group is looking to accelerate the construction of a new plant located in Georgia in order to benefit from federal EV incentives that favor domestic production.
Hyundai Motor Company President and Global COO Jose Munoz said the company is rushing to start electric vehicle and battery production as soon as possible at the $7.6 billion Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America complex in coastal Georgia, according to Atlanta-area radio station WABE.
Talking to reporters in Atlanta after signing a partnership with Georgia Tech aimed at boosting research into hydrogen-fueled vehicles and producing workers for Hyundai, Munoz said the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is pushing the company to build batteries and EVs in the US more quickly.
As a result, Hyundai is speeding up construction of the plant with the goal of starting production in Georgia sometime in 2024.
"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," Munoz said.
Hyundai Motor Co President and Global COO Jose Munoz speaking at Georgia Tech
The automaker and its battery partner LG Energy Solution recently increased their investment in battery production at the Georgia complex by an additional $2 billion while also pledging to hire an additional 400 workers, bringing total employment at the site to 8,500.
According to Munoz, this will allow Hyundai to build more batteries in Ellabell than originally planned, with the expanded capacity being enough to supply batteries for all 300,000 vehicles that the company plans to assemble there each year.
Munoz said Hyundai would like to ensure that the batteries are 100 percent sourced in the US to comply with the IRA, which provides a tax credit that saves EV buyers up to $7,500 if the cars are made in North America with domestic batteries.
The executive added that the increased investment would also ensure Hyundai and LG used "the best possible technology" to make batteries.
Construction is advancing rapidly at the plant and wasn't affected by last month's Hurrican Idalia, Munoz said. Hyundai could qualify for $2.1 billion in state and local tax breaks for the Georgia plant, with the carmaker pledging to pay workers a yearly average of $58,105, plus benefits.