Kia plans to manufacture its electric vehicles in the United States, according to South Korean media Mail Business and SBS (Going through EV Officials). The automaker is currently building its flagship electric car and North American hit, the Kia EV6, in South Korea at its Hwasung plant. But now Kia will move some of its electric vehicle assembly to the United States by 2024, according to the report.
Manufacturing electric vehicles in the United States would allow Kia to qualify for new incentives included in the recently passed Cut Inflation Act, which requires automakers to build electric vehicles in North America to qualify. .
Kia and its parent company, Hyundai, had threatened legal action against the United States for what they consider a “discriminatory” policy. Other provisions will exclude automakers from incentives if they use Chinese-origin battery minerals and components, which could effectively cut out nearly all domestic EV makers once the law takes effect.
Hyundai and Kia combined currently hold the second-largest EV market share in the United States, a position that could be threatened if customers can’t take advantage of new federal incentives (and man, EVs are getting expensive).
Hyundai, in particular, is already making investments on the state side by building electric vehicle and battery factories in Savannah, Georgia, though that won’t be ready until 2025.
It might be in Hyundai’s interest to speed up this process and start building the Ioniq 5 and maybe even help bring Kia’s EV6 manufacturing to the state side. Both vehicles are based on a shared E-GMP EV platform. And by the time Kia and Hyundai have everything in place, automakers will hopefully have their next-generation cars, like the Kia EV9 SUV and Hyundai Ioniq 6, ready to go.