ARKANSAS, Oct 26 (Future Headlines)- Exactly one year after breaking ground on its first electric vehicle (EV) assembly and battery plant in Bryan County, Georgia, Hyundai has reported significant progress at the site. The $5.5 billion plant, set to become one of the most advanced in the world, is now 99.9% complete in terms of its foundation work.

Hyundai initiated construction on its EV and battery plant in Georgia on October 25, 2022. A year later, substantial progress has been achieved. About 81% of the steel framing is installed, and construction of the roof, floor, and walls has commenced.

The architects have integrated cutting-edge technology and design elements to represent Hyundai’s brand identity, the greater Savannah area, and renewable energy. A solar parking lot located in the front area of the facility will generate 5.2 megawatts of energy, covering 1,878 parking spaces. This feature aligns with Hyundai’s commitment to sustainability and will provide power while protecting vehicles.

Hyundai plans to power the facility with 100% renewable energy sources once mass production begins, expected in early 2025. This transition to renewables underscores the automaker’s commitment to sustainability in its manufacturing processes.

The facility will ultimately employ 8,500 workers from Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), its battery joint venture with LG, and on-site suppliers. When including off-site suppliers, a total of 14,476 individuals will be employed.

Hyundai’s decision to accelerate construction was influenced by the Inflation Reduction Act, which offered the potential for a $7,500 EV tax credit for its electric vehicles. The company is eager to commence EV and battery production as soon as possible.

Originally set for January 2025, Hyundai’s COO, Jose Munoz, expressed confidence that the production start date may be pulled ahead by around three months or even more. The goal is to expedite the launch of electric vehicle manufacturing. Hyundai recently reduced lease prices for its popular EVs, following in the footsteps of Tesla. These reduced lease offers are expected to enhance Hyundai’s market competitiveness.

In addition to the US plant, Hyundai announced plans to build a new auto manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia in partnership with Saudi’s PIF. This facility will cater to both internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicles, expanding Hyundai’s global footprint. The progress at Hyundai’s US EV and battery plant reflects the company’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing and meeting the increasing demand for electric vehicles in the US market.

Writing by Alireza Sabet; Editing by Sarah White