HMG and LGES Sign Memorandum to Produce BEV Batteries in the U.S.

June 1st, 2023 by


In case there was any doubt about the semiconductor chip shortage of 2020 is still going on, it’s still affecting automakers everywhere. Initially, it led to securing resources and signing partnerships to get their own private stock of chips, which then led to automakers constructing facilities for the many electric parts going into battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including the batteries. Becoming a global effort for some, the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) – parent company of the Kia Corp – is expanding its stake in North America by constructing a new BEV battery cell manufacturing plant in the U.S. Through a joint venture between HMG and LG Energy Solution (LGES), this wouldn’t be the first time Kia has found a home on American soil.

The Kia Corporation was the first of the two automakers to open an auto assembly plant in Georgia. Responsible for the assembly and production of the Telluride SUV, Sorento SUV, Sportage SUV, and K5 midsize sedan. With an annual capacity of more than 340,000 vehicles, the success eventually gave rise to another avenue – BEV batteries. Think of all that goes into a BEV today. Automakers invest in their Research and Development (R&D) department to find new and more optimized engineering mechanics for a powertrain that is fully electric, then there’s the core of the matter powering it all – BEV battery construction –  followed by the many other components that make it go.

In order to secure a stable supply chain for BEV batteries and parts in the U.S. market, Kia had to invest in many other areas to ensure a new Metaplant by HMG could be constructed, the “Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America” (HMGMA), and start the production of BEV batteries by 2025. This will be the first dedicated U.S. EV and battery manufacturing facility in the State of Georgia for HMG and Kia. With operations set to start in 2023, and commercial production during the first half of 2025, the Metaplant has a goal of 300,000 units per year, with that number rising over the next few years.

With plans to release at least two BEV models a year between now and 2027, Kia has a lot on its plate. We’ve seen the Kia EV6, the Kia EV9, and whispers of the Kia EV5 Concept at 2023 Chinese EV Day. We’re almost halfway through the year, and with the EV6 being the star of 2022, the EV5 wouldn’t be surprising as the second BEV Kia will release this year. That kind of goal takes a lot of resources, and the automaker can’t wait for the HMG Metaplant in 2025. This calls for a larger annual production of BEV batteries, and that’s what brings us to HMG and LGES signing a memorandum of understanding to produce BEV batteries in the U.S.

“Two strong leaders in the auto and battery industries have joined hands, and together we are ready to drive the EV transition in America…By further advancing our product competitiveness and global operational expertise, LG Energy Solution will commit our best efforts to offering the ultimate sustainable energy solutions to our customers.” – Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution

Like the HMG Metaplant, the annual production capacity goal of the new joint venture is 30 GWh. Every year, this will support the production of 300,000 BEV model units. Construction starts later this year (2023) and will join the Metaplant in battery production in 2025. A simple chain of supply, it goes like this: Hyundai Mobis assembles the battery packs using cells from the plant; these battery packs are then delivered to the new HMG U.S. manufacturing facilities responsible for the production of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis EV models; a stable supply of batteries in the region allow HMG and Kia to meet the increasing demand for BEVs in the U.S. market.

Want to stay up to date with what HMG and the Kia Corp are working on? Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Automall social media. Check out the Kia EV6 and Kia EV9 at Miami Lakes Automall.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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