Hyundai’s sprawling EV factory in Georgia nears completion

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In a remarkable display of progress and innovation, Hyundai Motor Group is rapidly transforming a vast expanse of Georgia’s landscape into a state-of-the-art vehicle and battery plant. As the South Korean automaker’s first U.S. factory dedicated exclusively to electric vehicles (EVs), this $7.6 billion project stands as a testament to Hyundai’s commitment to electrification. A year into the construction, the “metaplant” in Georgia, where Hyundai will stamp, weld, paint, and assemble EVs, is already nearing completion, promising a bright future for electric mobility in America.

The steel skeletons of the buildings that will form the heart of Hyundai’s ambitious EV manufacturing venture span more than half a mile across this sprawling site in Georgia. Dotted with cranes, bulldozers, and a bustling workforce, the construction site seems more like the development of a small city. Over 2,000 people are working diligently each week, pushing the project closer to its early 2025 production start target, or even earlier, according to Hyundai officials.

Hyundai has been expedient in its construction efforts to leverage federal incentives aimed at promoting domestic EV production. The company’s president and global COO, Jose Munoz, has suggested the plant could potentially open its doors before the end of the next year, showcasing a remarkable drive to accelerate the project.

During the visit to the construction site, officials proudly stated that the foundation work for the factory’s primary production buildings is nearing completion, with over 80% of the steel framework already in place. Some of these structures already have roofs and floors, and exterior wall panels have begun to rise. Trip Tollison, president and CEO of the Savannah Area Economic Development Authority, remarked, “It’s hard to believe what has occurred in just one year,” underscoring the incredible pace of progress.

Situated on a massive 2,900-acre site parallel to Interstate 16, Hyundai’s metaplant is poised to produce 300,000 EVs annually. Moreover, in partnership with LG Energy Solution, it will manufacture the batteries to power these cutting-edge vehicles, emphasizing the company’s holistic approach to sustainable mobility solutions.

In addition to its scale and efficiency, Hyundai’s metaplant also embodies a commitment to sustainability. Artist renderings reveal buildings designed to maximize natural lighting, featuring an abundance of windows and skylights. Employees will enjoy a large covered parking lot adorned with solar panels. Notably, an elevated bridge with glass sides will offer onlookers a view of unfinished cars moving on conveyors from the paint shop to the assembly plant, exemplifying the fusion of innovation and aesthetics.

Hyundai’s plant is a significant boon to Georgia’s economy, employing 8,500 workers and fostering the opening of supplier shops in nine neighboring counties, which will generate an additional 6,000 jobs. This project stands as the largest economic development initiative in Georgia’s history and comes with a substantial incentive package, including $2.1 billion in tax breaks.

(Source: Russ Bynum | Associated Press | Latrice Williams | Savannah Morning News)

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