On Tuesday, Hyundai’s senior U.S. executive hinted that the firm wants to speed up the building of its $7.6 billion manufacturing complex outside Savannah, Georgia, known as the “Metaplant.” Hyundai Motor Group claims that the Inflation Recovery Act is discriminatory since it penalizes businesses that import electric vehicles and batteries.
It’s possible that the first mass-produced electric vehicles will leave the factory in the autumn of 2024.
Hyundai President and COO and CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America, José Muoz, announced the faster timeline at the opening of a hydrogen-based research partnership with Georgia Tech, according to the Associated Press (via WABE).
Production of vehicles was expected to begin in the first half of 2025 when the plant was revealed in May of last year. Muoz said the firm is considering moving up the manufacturing start date by as much as three months, to September 2024.
The Hyundai Group has said that the factory will produce up to 300,000 electric vehicles each year. Muoz suggests expanding the production to 500,000 units per year and five or six upcoming EV models, but it is unclear how many are in the original design.
Read More: Tesla Cybertruck Pre-Orders Exceed 2 Million
Hyundai-LG Battery Joint Venture to Invest $4 Billion in Georgia Plant, Make Batteries for 300,000 EVs
A new Hyundai-LG battery joint venture will provide cells for the plant in close proximity. LG Energy Solution has invested an additional $2 billion in the plant in the previous month, bringing the total investment in the plant to $4 billion and allowing it to make batteries for all 300,000 electric vehicles.
“We would like to ensure that the sourcing of the batteries is 100% USA in order to comply with the IRA,” Muoz said, as quoted by the AP. Although there are other supply chain hoops Hyundai would need to check with the federal government, that would certainly help qualify vehicles built there for the full $7,500 EV tax credit.
Although Hyundai hasn’t confirmed the Ioniq 7 (previewed by the Seven concept) as the first vehicle to roll off the assembly line, it’s a safe bet.
The plant’s proximity to the Port of Savannah, the East Coast’s second-busiest container port, could facilitate export operations. This plant might be a major contributor to the Hyundai Group’s goal of selling 3.23 million completely electric automobiles annually worldwide by 2030.
In the first half of 2024, the Hyundai plant will begin producing Kia EVs alongside Kia’s West Point, Georgia, facility, which will soon ramp up to build the EV9 electric SUV and other top-selling vehicles.
Early on in 2018, the Hyundai Group began production of its first electric vehicle in North America, the Genesis Electrified GV70. That’s at an Alabama facility.