Hyundai and SK On finalize $5B US battery factory [Update]

Hyundai Motor Group and SK On plan to invest roughly $5 billion to build a new EV battery plant in the US. The partners recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on November 28 in Georgia, where Hyundai is building its first dedicated EV facilities. Hyundai and SK finalized plans for their North American-based battery cell plant on Tuesday.

According to a press release from the South Korean automaker, Hyundai and SKOn have selected Bartow County, Georgia, for the site of their new EV battery manufacturing plant.

Hyundai and SK have been in discussions since May to build a joint battery plant in the US. However, disagreements over how much each partner would receive have delayed progress.

In March, Hyundai outlined its strategy on how the automaker plans to become a global EV powerhouse, complete with local battery sourcing. To scale production in the US, Hyundai said it would build its first dedicated electric vehicle plant in Bryan County, Georgia.

The $5.5 billion EV facility was initially slated to begin commercial production in 2025, but with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in August, the South Korean automaker accelerated its timeline.

To satisfy the requirements of the IRA bill (battery sourcing and assembly) and to ensure its customers will receive the tax credit, Hyundai broke ground on its new facility on October 25. Although disagreements have delayed its US battery plant until now, the final details are emerging.

Hyundai, SK On building a $4-5B US battery plant

Hyundai and SK On will build their new electric vehicle battery factory in Bartow County that will supply The Hyundai Motor Group’s plants, including Kia and Genesis.

The new battery plant will supply pouch-type EV batteries for new Hyundai models built at its new facility in Bryan County, Georgia. Hyundai is already using SK’s batteries for its award-winning IONIQ5, the recently launched IONIQ6, and Kia’s EV6. The automaker also plans to use them in the future IONIQ7 SUV, Genesis GV70, and Kia EV9.

The joint venture’s new battery plant is expected to start production in 2025 after approval of the final board’s decision. Regarding location, the new facility will be at Bartow Centre, based on Highway 411.

The automaker has also been in talks with LG Energy for two additional EV battery plants in the US, enough to power around one million EVs.

The Hyundai Motor Group has had success thus far in transitioning to electric vehicles with strong demand and award-winning models as it looks to take advantage of the rapidly evolving US auto market.

Update April 25, 2023: Hyundai and SK On finalized plans for a 50/50 $5 billion EV battery cell production plant Tuesday. The facility is expected to begin manufacturing battery cells in the second of 2025. When fully operational, Hyundai expects annual production capacity of 35 GWh to support the rollout of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis EVs.