Hyundai Motor has started production of the battery-powered version of the Genesis GV70 SUV model in the US this week, as the company stepped up its expansion into the country’s fast-expanding EV market.

The South Korean carmaker held a ceremony celebrating the launch of production of its first EV model in the USA, at its plant in Montgomery in the state of Alabama. The GV70, powered by a 77.4-kWh battery and dual 160kW motors, meets local content regulations which qualifies it for government subsidies of up to US$7,500 under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Prices of the GV70 start at US$65,850, well under the subsidy cap of US$80,000.

Hyundai still imports the battery-powered Ioniq 5 model, which is built on a dedicated EV platform, from South Korea.. Despite it not qualifying for the IRA subsidies, the automaker expects US sales of the Ioniq 5 to reach 36,000 this year.

Hyundai is currently building an EV plant with a production capacity of 300,000 EVs per year in the US state of Georgia, but this is not expected to be completed until 2025.