Global automakers are scrambling to secure all the necessary resources for the impending EV boom. American carmaker Ford recently broke ground on its new battery manufacturing plant in Glendale, Kentucky. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has secured a memorandum of understanding to build a new $5 billion battery manufacturing facility in Bartow County, Georgia.
The common denominator between the two is SK On. This South Korean EV battery developer branched out as an independent entity from SK Innovation, the largest energy company in South Korea, in 2021 and is currently operating the SK Battery America plant in Commerce, Georgia.
Economic Development & Job Creation
According to Hyundai’s press release, the partnership details between HMG and SK On are currently developing. However, the two companies have agreed to erect their new EV battery manufacturing plant at the Bartow Centre on Highway 411. It’s one of the most significant economic development projects in Georgia’s history, potentially creating more than 3,500 new jobs. “With Bartow’s strong history and talent base built upon advanced manufacturing, the automotive industry, and innovation, the battery partnership should thrive in this environment,” said Steve Taylor, Bartow County Sole Commissioner.
Moreover, HMG announced in May 2022 plans to invest $5.45 billion in Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, a new EV manufacturing plant in Bryan County. HMG and Georgia state leaders, including state governor Brian P. Kemp and other officials, officially broke ground on the new site in October 2022.
Automotive Industry in Georgia
Georgia is positioning itself to become a hub for the burgeoning EV sector. The state’s prime location, infrastructure, port system, business climate, and skilled workforce have made it a central supplier location for the entire U.S. auto industry. Excluding this announcement, EV-related projects announced in the state since 2020 total approximately $17 billion in investment and more than 22,800 new jobs in the Peach State.
“Hyundai Motor Group and SK On are valued partners and key players in our state’s ever-growing automotive industry,” said Governor Kemp. “Since day one, my administration has been focused on bringing jobs and opportunity to communities across the state that may have been overlooked in the past.”
HMG and SK On’s EV battery plant in Bartow County will start producing batteries for Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis electric vehicles by 2025.