New details emerge about Georgia’s latest EV battery plant

SK On-Hyundai Motor Group joint venture to rise in Bartow
Pictured here is the SK Battery America plant in Jackson County. SK and Hyundai Motor Group have partnered on a factory planned for Bartow County.

Credit: SK Battery America

Credit: SK Battery America

Pictured here is the SK Battery America plant in Jackson County. SK and Hyundai Motor Group have partnered on a factory planned for Bartow County.

A future electric vehicle battery plant in Bartow County will require new road and wastewater services and its floor space will span the size of two Lenox Square malls, documents about the project released this week show.

Those details were among new information unveiled in a Development of Regional Impact filing outlining some particulars of the project along U.S. 411 near Cartersville. The future factory by South Korean conglomerates SK Innovation and Hyundai Motor Group could total $5 billion in future investment and cover some 3.3 million square feet.

Among the infrastructure upgrades needed to serve the campus are a new wastewater treatment plant and service lines, the records state. The document also said the project is expected to generate $40 million in annual property and sales tax revenue.

In December, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office announced that SK subsidiary SK On and Hyundai planned to build the factory at Bartow Centre. At the time, the project was described as a $4 billion to $5 billion investment that would include 3,500 jobs, making it the third-largest economic development project in state history.

The state and local governments have committed billions in property tax breaks, grants, worker training, tax credits and other inducements to help Georgia emerge as an EV and battery manufacturing hub. The SK-Hyundai announcement capped off a 12-month stretch of massive EV and battery projects recruited by Georgia, including automotive factories by Rivian and Hyundai and an energy storage systems plant from Freyr.

Kemp’s office has said that since 2020, the state has earned corporate commitments for more than 35 EV-related projects totaling more than $21 billion in investment and 27,400 jobs.

SK already operates a massive battery plant in Jackson County, about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta along I-85. Hyundai, meanwhile, is building a $5.54 billion EV factory near Savannah, where the company expects to build battery-powered Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models starting in 2025.

Hyundai has said its EV plant in Bryan County will produce 300,000 EVs per year in its first phase. That figure is expected to grow to 500,000 and involve several new EV models, company officials have said.

The new SK-Hyundai battery plant will serve Hyundai’s existing manufacturing plants in the U.S., which include a Kia factory in West Point and a Hyundai factory in Alabama.

The DRI, a regulatory review that notifies local governments of large projects, listed the developer as SK Battery America, the subsidiary that operates SK’s Jackson County facility.

The documents state that completion of the Bartow factory is expected in June 2025.

The federal government has boosted incentives to produce more EVs and batteries in the United States, with last year’s Inflation Reduction Act committing $369 billion to accelerate the nation’s transition away from fossil fuels, the burning of which produces heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The Biden administration wants to expand battery production in the U.S., but much of the supply chain does not exist here and is dominated by China.