Earlier this year, Kia announced it was talking to Georgia officials about building an electric car manufacturing plant near Savannah. As originally planned, it would begin producing cars in 2025, starting with the Kia EV9 and Hyundai Ioniq 7, both of which are spacious 7-passenger electric SUVs that should garner a lot of interest from American car buyers.
Then the Inflation Reduction Act happened, and Kia suddenly found itself cut off from federal tax credits for its cars because they weren’t made in the United States. Now Reuters reports that news sources in South Korea claim production at the new Georgia plant will begin in 2024 instead of 2025. Kia and its parent company Hyundai Motors, along with officials in South Korea, are protesting the new law and asking the Biden administration to grant an exemption from the IRA until the companies can start producing electric vehicles in America.
There are many jobs involved. Kia says the new $5 billion plant in Georgia will employ 8,500 workers when it ramps up to full capacity. It appears Georgia officials are also on the phone to Washington, asking the government to cut Kia some slack.
Is the announcement that the plant will begin production earlier than expected an attempt to curry favor with the Biden administration? What do you think?
Inside electric cars says that while Kia’s primary goal is to make sure consumers can take advantage of the federal tax credit when they buy their EVs, there are other obvious benefits. Kia has become known as a manufacturer that produces compelling electric cars, and their vehicles are very successful. The biggest problem in the US to date has been the lack of availability of Kia’s electric and plug-in hybrid models. Moving electric production to the US could help Kia deliver more electric cars to keep up with rising demand.
“This is really huge news,” Inside electric cars says, “as it could mean an eventual rush of more affordable electric cars in the US, combined with the tax credit that will make them even more affordable. It’s moves like this that will significantly increase the use of electric cars in the US, it seems that it will be a victory for lawmakers and Americans.”
As we said in August, policies matter, and while the Inflation Reduction Act is far from perfect, it is achieving one of its primary goals, which is to bring back some of the manufacturing jobs that fled to other countries over the past 30 years with globalization. . That’s good news for American workers.
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