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Asia Minute

Asia Minute: South Korea’s electric vehicle battery plants are making inroads in the U.S.

Stellantis Factory Announcement
Carlos Osorio/AP
/
AP
FILE - The Stellantis sign is seen outside the Chrysler Technology Center, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Stellantis and Samsung SDI plan to invest over $2.5 billion in a joint venture to produce Lithium-Ion batteries for electric vehicles. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Renewable energy is connecting more investment capital from Asia with projects in the United States. The latest example stretches from South Korea through Western Europe and into the American Midwest.

If you’re looking for a case study about the current state of cross-border investment pursuing green technology and growing markets, consider the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

On Wednesday, South Korea’s Samsung SDI announced it will build its first electric vehicle battery plant in the United States in Kokomo, Indiana.

It’s going to be a joint venture with Stellantis — the Netherlands-based auto company formed last year by the merger of Fiat-Chrysler and France’s PSA Group.

The $2.5 billion project is scheduled to break ground this year and start production in early 2025.

South Korean battery makers have been active corporate investors in the United States, drawn in part by federal tax incentives.

They’re combining with automakers to capitalize on a fast-growing market for electric vehicles.

SK On is planning to build two plants with Ford — one in Tennessee and one in Kentucky.

LG Energy Solution is teaming up with General Motors to build three battery plants — one in Tennessee, one in Michigan, and one in Kentucky.

Reuters reports that since 2018, South Korean battery makers have announced spending plans in the United States totaling $13 billion.

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