If you think every automaker is in retreat mode on electric vehicles after a couple of slower months, think again. Korea's Hyundai Motor Group, which proved last year that it's a force to be reckoned with in the EV world, has no intention of slowing down this year. The Kia EV9 is already on sale and receiving rave reviews, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 can be had with outstanding deals, and the Ioniq 7 three-row crossover will be revealed this summer. 

And in an even better bit of news, Hyundai yesterday confirmed that its Georgia "Metaplant"—a super factory devoted to EVs, batteries and powertrain components for them—will actually open later this year, ahead of schedule.

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Huge EV investments are being made in America

Spurred by the tax incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act, and eager to offer tax breaks on cars made in North America, the EV revolution is bringing scores of manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. 

The Metaplant near Savannah is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2024, with a "grand opening" ceremony in the first quarter of 2025, company officials said yesterday. Previously, the plant was slated to open in 2025. This announcement, which the automaker alluded to last year, came at the "Hyundai Day" celebration at Georgia's state capitol.

Hyundai Day Georgia Capitol

There, company officials were flanked by Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia's First Lady, along with a row of EVs and the hydrogen-powered XCIENT Fuel Cell Truck.

Georgia has reason to be happy with the Korean automaker. The Metaplant is a $7.59 billion investment (on top of the $5 billion EV battery cell plant in Bartow County, Georgia built with SK On) that's said to create 8,500 new jobs. The state is said to have provided $1.8 billion in incentives, including tax breaks, to create what will be one of the Hyundai Motor Group's biggest EV manufacturing ecosystems for decades to come. 

Hyundai Motors Group Metaplant Savannah Design

A Hyundai USA spokesperson told InsideEVs that the plant will build Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models, but it has not announced which ones yet. It feels like the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 would be a reasonable bet, alongside the Genesis GV60; all of those E-GMP platform EVs are excellent but none are made in North America, so they do not qualify for any U.S. tax credits unless they are leased. (Kia Georgia’s West Point assembly plant is due to make the EV9 later this year, positioning it to get at least some tax credits eventually.)  

Hyundai, Genesis and Kia all have huge, global plans for EVs. In Kia's case, that also means EV production across eight global bases by 2025, including Georgia. And if they make some already good models even cheaper for Americans to buy, going hard and fast with those plant investments should pay off nicely. 

Contact the author: patrick.george@insideevs.com

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