Hyundai Rushes to Start EV Production in US to Take Advantage of IRA Incentives

Hyundai is rushing to open its new Georgia factory to take advantage of IRA benefits. Federal law provides a $7,500 tax credit on the purchase of electric vehicles, but only if they are completely made in North America.

A top Hyundai executive said on Tuesday the company is rushing to begin production of electric vehicles and batteries at its new factory as soon as possible. The $7.6 billion complex in Georgia should qualify the company for federal EV incentives that encourage domestic production. Hyundai President and Global Chief Operating Officer Jose Munoz made the announcement in Atlanta after signing a partnership with Georgia Tech, El Pais reports.

The group, which also makes Kia and Genesis vehicles, previously complained that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was unfair to companies importing electric batteries or vehicles from outside North America. This legislation provides a tax credit that saves electric vehicle buyers up to $7,500, but only on vehicles manufactured in North America with domestic batteries.

The IRA pushes Hyundai to produce batteries and electric vehicles in the U.S. faster, Munoz said. Now the company is accelerating construction, aiming to begin production in Georgia sometime in 2024. Munoz said construction of the factory is progressing quickly. He emphasized the company’s commitment to all-electric vehicles.

“What we decided is to double down,” Munoz said. “We try to accelerate as much as possible, the project. And we are confident that the original date of January 2025 would probably be pulled ahead maybe three months or so. If we can, even more.”

South Korean automaker and battery manufacturing partner LG Energy Solution recently increased its investment in the facility. Munoz said the investment will allow the company to produce more batteries in Ellabella than originally planned. This will add enough capacity to supply batteries for all 300,000 vehicles Hyundai plans to assemble there.

“We would like to ensure that the sourcing of the batteries is 100% USA in order to comply with the IRA,” Munoz said, adding that the increased investment would also make sure Hyundai and LG used “the best possible technology” to make batteries.

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