South Korea’s SK Innovation plans to develop a second electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the U.S. and is contemplating increasing another manufacturing facility in Hungary to meet hovering demand for EV cells, its CEO said.
Kim Jun additionally stated he expects more Asian manufacturers to make batteries in the U.S. instead of importing them to avoid taxes and meet demand from U.S. auto manufacturers locally.
The funding comes as auto manufacturers race to adapt to more and more stringent regulatory requirements globally aimed at reducing CO2 emissions.
SK Innovation’s second plant at its under-development production site in Georgia, Kim stated, declining to name prospects.
The agency has already commited to invest $1.7 billion to construct the first, 9.8 GWh factory to serve Volkswagen AG’s EV hub in Tennessee, with manufacturing on track to start early in 2022.
The second, 10 GWh plant, would need around $1 billion as the capacity of 1 GWh needs $100 million, an individual with familiar with the matter stated.
The final figure will be subject to panel approval in the 2020 H1.
In Hungary, SK Innovation is contemplating increasing its second plant – currently, under-development – to 16 GWh from 10 GWh to boost supply to Volkswagen, Kim stated, adding the firm is discussing with the auto manufacturer to turn it into a joint venture.
A spokesperson stated another option into account is to construct the additional 6 GWh capability in a European nation other than Hungary.
Volkswagen said its battery demand had passed 300 GWh a year in Europe and Asia and that it’s discussing choices with various associates.