Georgia Business Assets a Powerful Magnet for Electric Vehicle Industry

Staff Report

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

Lithium-ion batteries do not have magnetic properties, but a company in Georgia that makes them certainly does. Since Korea-based SK Battery America announced a huge new $1.67 billion advanced manufacturing plant near Atlanta in 2018, it has not only expanded to a second facility in the state, but also attracted numerous suppliers and ancillary companies in the electric vehicle (EV) industry to Georgia.

SK On is just one of numerous innovative companies drawn to the state’s business advantages, contributing to a critical mass of companies now vertically integrating Georgia’s booming EV sector.

U.S. plug-in electric vehicle sales nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021, growing by 85%, and Georgia is meeting that surge, developing the EV manufacturing sector at every step of the supply chain.

To accelerate this growth, in 2021 Governor Brian Kemp launched the Electric Mobility and Innovation Alliance (EMIA), a statewide initiative between government, industries, electric utilities, nonprofits, and other relevant stakeholders focused on growing the electric mobility ecosystem in the state and strengthening Georgia’s position in electrification-related manufacturing and innovation.

In recent months, the state attracted the two largest economic development investments in its history: American EV startup Rivian, and Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group. In May 2022, Hyundai Motor Group selected the state for its first fully dedicated electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing facility. The company's $5.54 billion manufacturing facility will have production capacity of 300,000 annually.

In 2021, Rivian selected Georgia to locate a $5 billion carbon-conscious EV manufacturing plant able to produce up to 400,000 vehicles annually. Georgia’s robust infrastructure and work on speed-to-market needs, ability to meet renewable energy and sustainability goals, and availability of quality talent were key decision points. Rivian has developed and vertically integrated a connected electric platform that supports a range of applications, including the company’s adventure products as well as B2B products such as its last-mile delivery vans, launched in partnership with Amazon.

Georgia is at the center of the rapidly expanding Southeast Automotive Alley, and its rich EV ecosystem, accelerated by the arrival of Rivian and SK Battery America, has grown exponentially. Within the last five years, more than 75 automotive-related companies, many international, have located or expanded operations in Georgia.

Korean manufacturer Enchem, SK’s first announced supplier, plans to build two plants nearby. Enchem develops and makes electrolytes for rechargeable batteries and electrostatic double-layer capacitors (ELDCs) to meet the increasing demand for EV batteries and energy storage systems.

Duckyang, another Korean supplier, plans a facility near SK to make electric mobility parts for automotive battery modules and energy storage systems. EcoPro BM, a Korea-based company with a presence in Georgia, will supply SK with 100,000 tons of nickel cathode annually.

GEDIA Automotive Group of Germany chose Georgia for its first advanced manufacturing plant in the Southeast. The plant will make lightweight parts for electric vehicles including Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and others.