Hyundai is the latest automaker to announce plans to open an EV factory in Georgia, the same state where Rivian is preparing to break ground on its controversial plant.
Hyundai’s $6.5 billion EV and battery manufacturing facility outside of Savannah will further the state’s goal of becoming a major regional hub for the EV industry. As sales of electric vehicles start to surge, the Peach State aims to establish a closed-loop battery-electric ecosystem that includes rare-earth mining, battery and chip production, and auto parts manufacturing, according to state officials.
Hyundai’s capital investment, which includes $1 billion from non-affiliated suppliers, represents the largest economic development deal recruited by Georgia, 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-ever incentives package of $1.5 billion to build a plant on 2,000 acres east of Atlanta. In return, Rivian has pledged to hire 7,500 workers at an average annual salary of $56,000 by the end of 2028. However, the project has stirred up local controversy; residents have rallied around concerns ranging from land preservation to the use of tax dollars.
The issue became political, as opponents of the Rivian plant mobilize against Gov. Brian Kemp ahead of his race for re-election in November.
Rivian plans to break ground this summer and open by early 2024.
Hyundai’s site represents a collaboration among four Georgia counties that used proceeds from selling property to Amazon to help fund the $61 million land purchase. The partnership, which calls itself the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (JDA), pooled the plots to create a “shovel-ready mega-site” for a large 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 EV lithium-ion battery maker, is building a $2.6 billion EV battery complex nearby. The company, which said its plant will be able to power 310,000 electric vehicles annually, has contracts with Ford and Volkswagen.