According to Korean news outlets Maeli Business News and SBS, Kia will begin producing electric vehicles in the United States starting in 2024 to qualify for new electric vehicle tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act.
The report is short on details and cites an unnamed source, but the news is not surprising given the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The bill’s climate provisions included huge changes to the electric vehicle tax credit, both expanding its application to make it available for another ten years, and simplifying requirements for consumers (it will be available at the point of sale starting in 2024).
The purpose of the law is not only to take action to combat climate change, but also to stimulate American production in the field of green energy.
So the changes also included some new provisions that make foreign-made electric vehicles ineligible for loans. The main limiting provision is the requirement that electric vehicles go through final assembly in North America in order to be eligible for credits.
This provision was to go into effect on the day the law was signed, leading to a frenzy to lock in old loans for foreign-built cars before the law was passed. But now that the law has gone into effect, foreign-built cars are not eligible for any benefits at all. There are other requirements based on the source of the battery material, but they have not been finalized yet.
The government has published and is updating the list of vehicles eligible for EV tax credits, and we will update it as new vehicles are added.
Since the law was signed, many manufacturers have already announced US manufacturing facilities or put forward plans to build electric vehicles in the US.
One such manufacturer is Hyundai, which already makes gasoline cars in the US and planned to make electric cars here, but announced last month that it wants to speed up its timeline.
Hyundai and Kia are related companies – each owns a significant stake in the other, and they share the same E-GMP EV platform that underpins both the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. So it’s no surprise that Kia made a similar announcement shortly after Hyundai.
Over the past year, Kia and Hyundai have led other non-U.S. companies in U.S. EV sales, although the change in EV tax credits has dealt a blow that could leave them in the doldrums for a while until they can start making EVs in the U.S. United States.
Despite the considerable chaos caused by the inelegant implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, the law appears to be working as intended, with all these companies announcing new manufacturing efforts in the US shortly after its passage.
While we wish things were a little smoother and more attention paid to manufacturers, it’s good to see EV production coming to the US. The US manufacturing industry has been in decline for some time, and we are especially losing ground in the green industry, which will be important in the future.
The more green manufacturing we can bring to the US, the better, because otherwise we will be left far behind as the world transitions to cleaner energy and transportation.
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