Hyundai and SK On finalize plans for $5 bn EV battery plant in US

By Editor


Hyundai Motor said it finalized a $5 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery joint venture with SK On in the U.S., boosting electrification efforts in its largest market.

Hyundai Motor also said sales of full electric models jumped 48 percent to nearly 66,000 units in Q1 2023. Hyundai Motor sold 1,021,712 vehicles during the first quarter of the current year.

Hyundai Motor’s Q1 revenue increased 24.7 percent to KRW 37.78 trillion; operating profit up 86.3 percent to record-high KRW 3.59 trillion; operating profit margin hit 9.5 percent and net profit rose 92.4 percent to KRW 3.42 trillion.

Hyundai Motor said it will strengthen its leadership position in eco-friendly EVs by growing sales of its World Car of the Year-winning IONIQ 6 and IONIQ 5 and launching more models, including Hyundai Kona EV, Genesis’ GV60, Electrified G80, and Electrified GV70 in markets around the world.

This year, Hyundai will also launch IONIQ 5 N, its first high-performance EV model, to further solidify its global EV leadership. In addition, IONIQ 6 will be introduced in more diverse markets around the globe.

Hyundai and partner SK On, a battery unit of SK Innovation, will have a 50:50 joint venture to set up a new battery manufacturing plant in Bartow County, in the state of Georgia, formalizing an earlier provisional agreement. Bartow County is close to the Hyundai Group’s U.S. production facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Kia Georgia and Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America.

The move follows new U.S. sourcing requirements for EV battery components and critical minerals in order for car buyers to qualify for up to $7,500 in credits under the Joe Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Cars made by Hyundai and sister company Kia are currently not eligible for the tax credits.

Rivals General Motors and Samsung SDI said they would invest over $3 billion to build a joint venture EV battery manufacturing plant in the United States.

The Hyundai-SK On Georgia plant is expected to start manufacturing battery cells in the second half of 2025 with an annual production capacity of 35 GWh, sufficient to support the production of 300,000 EVs.

Hyundai, which makes the Tucson sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and the Elantra sedans, reported a net profit of 3.3 trillion won ($2.47 billion) for the January-March period versus a profit of 1.6 trillion won a year earlier, thanks to a rise in vehicle output as a global chip shortage eased and demand for its high-margin SUVs remained strong.

Seo Gang Hyun, head of Hyundai’s planning and finance division, said conventionally powered SUVs and luxury Genesis cars still accounted for a large proportion of the company’s U.S. sales.

Hyundai and Kia also said they planned to invest a combined 1.05 trillion won to acquire more shares in autonomous mobility firm 42dot Inc to maintain control and increase its operational competitiveness.

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