Hyundai is the latest automaker to announce plans to open an electric vehicle plant in Georgia, the same state where Rivian is preparing to open its controversial plant.
Hyundai’s $6.5 billion EV and battery manufacturing plant outside Savannah will contribute to the state’s goal of becoming a major regional hub for the EV industry. As electric vehicle sales begin to surge, Peach State aims to establish a statewide closed-loop battery electric ecosystem that includes rare earth mining, battery production and chips and auto parts manufacturing, according to state officials.
Hyundai’s capital investment, which includes $1 billion from unaffiliated suppliers, represents Georgia’s largest economic development contract, officials said Friday. Hyundai expects to create 8,100 jobs at the 2,293-acre site.
Georgia has become aggressive in its efforts to attract manufacturers, awarding Rivian the state’s largest $1.5 billion incentive package to build a factory on 2,000 acres east of Atlanta. In return, Rivian pledged to hire 7,500 workers at an average annual salary of $56,000 by the end of 2028. However, the project sparked local controversy; residents rallied around concerns ranging from land preservation to the use of taxpayer dollars.
The issue has turned political, as opponents of the Rivian plant rally against Gov. Brian Kemp ahead of his re-election run in November.
Rivian plans to innovate this summer and open in early 2024.
The Hyundai site represents a collaboration between four Georgia counties that used proceeds from the sale of property to Amazon to help fund the $61 million land purchase. The partnership, which is called the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (JDA), brought the plots together to create a “ready-to-use mega-site” for a major manufacturer.
Hyundai said the plant will begin production in 2025 with the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles per year.
Officials hope to replicate the model to attract more mega-site manufacturing projects to the state.
SK On, a South Korean manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, is building a $2.6 billion electric vehicle battery complex nearby. The company, which said its plant will be able to power 310,000 electric vehicles a year, has contracts with Ford and Volkswagen.