What demand problem? Hyundai’s new EV factory to build 200,000 cars a year

Hyundai has broken ground on a massive new EV factory in its home market of South Korea today. Full-scale construction of the plant will begin in earnest before 2023 is over, so Hyundai’s not wasting any time here.

Once completed, the $1.5 billion facility will have the capacity to produce 200,000 electric cars per year and will mark Hyundai’s first new manufacturing plant in Korea in nearly 30 years. Hyundai is building the plant on the site of its former proving grounds site in Ulsan. As to when it will actually start the business of spitting out cars, Hyundai is aiming for Q1 2026 — a little over two years from now.

The nearly 550,000 square meter plant will operate entirely on renewable energy, as validated by a RE100 certification. Hyundai will even use “low carbon” construction techniques to build the plant with the aim of achieving a net carbon-neutral facility.

Last month, Hyundai announced it had completed foundation work on its upcoming EV and battery plant in Georgia in the US, following the news that it was working on yet another EV plant in Saudi Arabia. Its Georgia facility could start production as soon as the end of 2024, beating initial operating timeline estimates. Hyundai is already building one EV in the US, the GV70, under its premium Genesis brand.

It’s not known which vehicles this new Korea factory will be producing once it comes online, but production versions of the concept EV3 and EV4 could conceivably be on the menu. Read more in the full press release here.

Electrek’s Take

Hyundai is undoubtedly one of the world’s most aggressive automakers when it comes to expanding EV and battery production, and that’s likely because it continues to believe earnestly in its first-mover advantage in the space. With its compelling 800V architecture and low reliance on legacy vehicle platforms, Hyundai (alongside Kia and Genesis) is well-positioned for the electric era transition.

While there seems to be no shortage of doom and gloom commentary on the current state of EV demand, we at Electrek know that you have to keep the big picture in mind when it comes to EV adoption. And when you look at that picture, the global demand for EVs is just going to keep rising year over year, necessitating more and more production capacity. While near-term variability in demand has given some brands cover to delay their electric vehicles and manufacturing facilities, the prospect of electrification backsliding remains far-fetched — and Hyundai appears to understand that all too well.

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