Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) and LG Energy Solution (LGES) are increasing their joint investments in a US electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing plant in Georgia due to higher costs, according to local reports citing a statement by a state government official.

The two South Korean companies now expect to invest a combined US$7.6bn to complete construction of the plant located near Savannah. This is 40% more than the original $5.5bn investment announced last year and reflects mainly higher construction cost estimates. The 30 gigawatt/hour (GWh) facility is being built to help meet expected demand from Hyundai Motor and Kia Corpooration in North America.

HMG, comprising Hyundai Motor and Kia Corporation, began construction of a dedicated EV plant in Georgia last October with a production capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year under the Hyundai, Genesis and Kia brands while EVs are also being introduced at the automakers’ other plants in the US – at Hyundai’s assembly plant in Alabama and at Kia’s plant in Georgia.

HMG and LGES have brought forward the completion date for the new battery plant to the second half of 2024, six months ahead of the original schedule, after HMG also brought forward completion of its new EV plant in Georgia from 2025 to 2024 in response to the introduction by the US government of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This provides tax credits for buyers of EVs with significant local content.

The Georgia government expects LGES and HMG to create around 8,500 new jobs in the state over the next eight years.

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