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Hyundai Investing Billions in U.S. for EVs, Technology

Hyundai Motor Group has announced a $7.4 billion investment in the U.S. manufacture of electric vehicles such as the new 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. (Hyundai USA)

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has announced that it will spend $7.4 billion in the U.S. by 2025 in order to build electric vehicles as well as promote a hydrogen ecosystem, urban air mobility, robotics, and autonomous driving technology. The automaker, which sells Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia vehicles in the U.S., said it will start building EVs in the U.S. in 2022.

The company's current and near-term upcoming EVs include the Genesis Electrified G80, Hyundai Kona Electric, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Kia Niro EV. The Electrified G80, Ioniq 5, and EV6 share a new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that will serve as the foundation for nearly 25 EVs.

While Hyundai will reveal North American details of the Ioniq 5 later this month, exactly which vehicles HMG will build in the U.S. remains to be seen. All the automaker is saying is that it will offer a "suite of American-made electric vehicles" in the U.S. starting next year.

Hyundai also didn't say if the $7.4 billion would be used to build another plant in the U.S. Currently, HMG's only vehicle production plants in the U.S. are located in Montgomery, Alabama and West Point, Georgia. Today, the plants employ approximately 5,750 people and build around 600,000 vehicles per year.

Hyundai isn’t the only automaker investing in U.S. manufacturing of electrified vehicles. For example, Volvo’s factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina currently builds S60 Recharge plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Soon, it will start production of the next-generation, electrified Volvo XC90, and the automaker will produce EV batteries in the state.

On the hydrogen front, Hyundai currently offers the Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and is offering the XCIENT Fuel Cell semi-truck in limited numbers. The company did not say it would build FCEV vehicles here, but that it would "[work] with the U.S. government and other business partners to expand the U.S. hydrogen energy ecosystem," including a future hydrogen refueling demonstration project for fuel cell electric trucks. Hyundai has an agreement with Cummins to get fuel cell trucks deployed.

As for the other future technologies, Hyundai will start up an urban air mobility subsidiary in Washington, DC. It also controls 80% of robotics firm Boston Dynamics and is part of the Motional joint venture (with Aptiv) to commercialize self-driving vehicle technology. Motional will launch an autonomous robotaxi with Lyft in 2023.