Korean companies LG and Hyundai have teamed up to build a new EV battery cell manufacturing plant in the US and signed a memorandum of understanding to invest $4.3 billion in the project. The companies will each have a 50 percent stake in the joint venture, which will begin construction of the new plant in the second half of 2023. Their new manufacturing facility will be located in Savannah, Georgia, where Hyundai is also building its first of all. -EV factory in the US. The battery plant is expected to be operational by 2025 at the earliest. After it starts production at full capacity, it will be able to produce 30GHWh batteries per year, which is enough to support the production of 300,000 electric cars.
LG and Hyundai are just the latest companies to invest in US-based battery manufacturing facilities in recent years. Toyota announced in 2021 that it will build a battery plant in the country as part of a $3.4 billion investment, while Ultium Cells (GM and LG joint venture) secured a $2.5 billion loan from the Department of Energy for building EV battery facilities. Recently, Ford announced that it is spending $3.5 billion to build a lithium iron phosphate battery plant in Michigan. Lithium iron phosphate, which can withstand more frequent and faster charging, is cheaper than other battery technologies and can lower the cost of EVs.
Other companies may follow suit, as the Biden administration pushes to bring more EV and battery manufacturing to the US. Last year, it launched the American Battery Materials Initiative, which will give 20 companies $2.8 billion in grants in hopes of encouraging manufacturers to start battery production stateside and ensuring the US doesn’t become too dependent on ” unreliable foreign supply chains.”
Hyundai and LG believe the new facility will help create “a stable supply of batteries in the region” and allow them to “quickly respond to the increasing demand for EVs in the US market.” Hyundai Mobis, the automaker’s parts and service division, will assemble battery packs using cells produced at the plant. The automaker will then use the packs for Hyundai, Kia and Genesis electric vehicles.