SK and Hyundai plan Georgia electric vehicle battery plant, 3,500 jobs

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“Hyundai Motor Group and SK On are valued partners and key players in our state’s expanding automotive industry,” Kemp said in the press release.

A Hyundai representative did not immediately return a message seeking comment. A spokesperson for SK On said the two companies are still reviewing options and discussing details of their partnership and more will be shared in the future.

To discoverGeorgia enters semiconductor sector with groundbreaking $600 million plant

More than 548,000 electric cars were sold in the U.S. in the first nine months of this year, up 70% from the same period in 2021, according to auto data company Kelley Blue Book, which, like The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is a Cox company. Enterprises is . EVs accounted for about 5.4% of all new car sales in the first three quarters of this year, compared to 2.7% last year.

David Clayton, executive director of Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, said that from logistics to recruiting workers, especially during times of low unemployment, he said EV-related companies benefit from clustering in one region.

“The Southeast is growing in population and attracting people from all over the country and the world, which in a tight labor market is a good sign that companies will find the employees they need,” Clayton said.

The federal government has strengthened incentives to produce more electric cars and batteries in the United States, with last year’s Inflation Reduction Act pledging $369 billion to accelerate the country’s transition from fossil fuels. Timothy Lieuwen, the executive director of Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute, said the law is leading to more investment in domestic manufacturing, even among foreign companies like Hyundai that criticized aspects of the law for creating short-term barriers.

“This is Exhibit A of what the IRA is trying to accomplish,” he said of the Bartow County announcement. “As a matter of industrial policy to drive investment, particularly in manufacturing investment in the US, it shows that it’s working.”

Georgia, meanwhile, has positioned itself as a major electric car player and is also recruiting new entrant Rivian, which is planning a $5 billion factory about an hour east of Atlanta where it will employ 7,500 people.

To discoverPioneering groundbreaking Hyundai factory highlights EV promise and challenges

Hyundai broke ground in October with its sprawling EV and battery plant along I-16 in Bryan County, where the company plans to take on 8,100 EVs in phase one and produce 300,000 EVs per year. That figure is expected to grow to 500,000 and will involve several new EV models, company officials have said.

Credits: Stephen B. Morton for The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credits: Stephen B. Morton for The Atlanta Journal Constitution

State and local leaders have touted Hyundai’s on-site jobs and investments, as well as pledges to create thousands of additional jobs at Georgia suppliers, as justification for a record-breaking $1.8 billion stimulus package for the Bryan County plant.

So far, two of Hyundai’s major suppliers have announced plans to build factories near the Georgia coast.

To discoverHyundai’s EV plans in Georgia reflect a turning point for the auto industry

The Bartow County battery facility is likely to receive a similar package of incentives, including grants, tax breaks, infrastructure and free employee training.

Some economists and watchdog groups have criticized lavish state and local stimulus states that claim these projects would happen without them. The left-wing tax watchdog Good Jobs First said states and local governments had contributed some $13.8 billion in stimulus in recent years to bring in at least 51 electric and battery factories. Of that total, Georgia has pledged about $3.3 billion to Hyundai and Rivian through various grants, tax credits, employee training, land and infrastructure.

Pat Wilson, the state commissioner for economic development, told the AJC that the state has been working with SK on this project for more than six months.

The company was trying to expand its production capacity in the US. The Biden administration wants to expand battery production in the US, but much of the supply chain does not exist here and is dominated by China.

“We don’t produce enough batteries like we do in the United States,” Wilson said.

Wilson said SK and Hyundai will lean on the Technical College System of Georgia and Georgia’s Quick Start employee training program to help staff the future plant.

“Bartow is a metropolitan county, one of the fastest growing in the state,” Wilson said. “It’s in a good place to provide the workers they need.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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