Hyundai's electric Ioniq 5 is displayed at an event in Tokyo. The automaker announced Friday it is partnering with another Korean company, SK On, to start construction on a new EV battery factory in Georgia. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor announced Friday it is partnering with another Korean company, SK On, to start construction on a new EV battery factory in Bartow County, Ga.
The agreement was the culmination of the talks between the two companies last month, a deal that dovetails with Hyundai's future EV assembly plants in the United States.
Hyundai Motor estimated that the new facility will help create more than 3,500 new jobs with the investment estimated at between $4 billion and $5 billion.
Hyundai Motor and SK On said it was their goal to start factory operation by 2025. Hyundai is Korea's biggest carmaker, while SK On is the manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, a key subsidiary of SK Innovation.
Hyundai Motor said it chose Georgia because of its location, major port system, extensive infrastructure, skilled workforce and pro-business climate.
Since 2020, the state has attracted more than $17 billion in investment related to EV industry. In October, Hyundai Motor broke ground on its planned $5.54 billion EV factory in Savannah.
"Hyundai Motor Group and SK On are valued partners and key players in our state's ever-growing automotive industry," Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement.
"Since day one, my administration has been focused on bringing jobs and opportunity to communities across the state that may have been overlooked in the past. SK and HMG share this goal, and we're proud they are choosing to invest even further in this No. 1 state for business."
Industry observers see Hyundai Motor's latest effort as a bid to diversify its supply chain with regard to EV battery production.
"Hyundai Motor is expected to start rolling out some 300,000 electric cars when its Georgia assembly line becomes ready in late 2025. The new battery factory is being built for that purpose," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.
"The company will have to continue to cooperate with battery makers because the secure supply of batteries is most crucial to churning out electric vehicles," he said.