Two major automakers announced separate plans to build electric vehicle battery plants in the US, a sign that the fast-paced expansion of EV manufacturing in the country has yet to slow down.
General Motors announced it will pair up with Samsung SDI to jointly invest $3 billion in an electric vehicle battery plant in the US. Separately, Hyundai said it would form a joint venture with another South Korean battery maker, SK On, for a $5 billion investment in a battery factory in Georgia.
A sign that the fast-paced expansion of EV manufacturing in the country has yet to slow down
Expected to start in 2026, the GM-Samsung factory will have more than 30GWh of capacity, bringing GM’s total US battery cell capacity to about 160GWh when it is at full production. GM is currently building three other battery factories in the US for a total annual capacity of 140GWh: one in Lordstown, OH, which is operational; Spring Hill, TN, which is launching production in the coming months; and Lansing, Mich.
The companies did not divulge where the new plant will be built but said that, when finished, it will have production lines to build “nickel-rich prismatic and cylindrical cells.” There are three types of EV battery cells for EVs: cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch. GM’s Ultium battery platform currently uses pouch-style packs for most of its vehicles but can be adapted to accommodate other types of cells.
The announcement comes as South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is traveling to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden. South Korean automakers have been lobbying the Biden administration about new rules prohibiting vehicles manufactured outside the US from receiving the $7,500 EV tax credit. New rules that just went into effect further restrict the tax credit to vehicles with battery materials mined and processed in the US or by its trade partners.
Hyundai, South Korea’s largest automaker, said that its EV battery plant will be constructed in Georgia’s Bartow County, with the aim of producing battery cells starting in the second half of 2025. Once finished, the new plant will annually produce 35GWh of capacity, which Hyundai said is enough to produce 300,000 EVs. The company previously announced plans to build an EV factory in Savannah, Georgia.
The plants are part of a host of new EV facilities that are expected to come on line in the coming years. Globally, battery production is expected to grow from 95.3GWh in 2020 to 410.5GWh in 2024, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.
Ford has said its three battery plants will enable 129GWh a year of production capacity. Volkswagen is building a new gigafactory in Ontario, Canada, in addition to several more around the world for a total capacity of 240GWh. Stellantis is planning a new factory in Indiana, which will have an initial annual production capacity of 23GWh. And BMW is aiming to have a new plant in South Carolina with 30GWh of production.