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Eric Johnson: EV production drives investments
Eric Johnson - photo by Picture provided

Eric Johnson


Georgia is quickly becoming a leader in electric vehicle (EV) production and manufacturing, thanks in large part to the economic policies and pro-growth agenda that Governor Brian Kemp’s administration has been pursuing in recent years. Investments in expanding Georgia’s EV capabilities and infrastructure are helping to support and attract new businesses, create much-needed jobs, and spur economic growth in the Savannah region, throughout Bryan County, and across the state.

As the Savannah Harbor Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (Savannah JDA) Project Director for Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), a state of the art manufacturing facility under construction in Bryan County—I’m excited about the growth opportunities that our newest facility will bring to the area and to Georgia’s economy. Set to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2024, the project is moving full steam ahead, with the construction phase alone creating thousands of jobs for hard-working Georgians in the process.

Along with the on-site battery cell plant at HMGMA, Hyundai is making a total investment of roughly $7.59 billion. Once up and running, the manufacturing facility and battery plant will create and support jobs for 8,500 workers in an industry that is rapidly growing nationwide.

All of this is good news for local and state job creation efforts. In fact, when combining the jobs that will be created by HMGMA with those that will be supported by the new suppliers that have flocked to Georgia since the onset of this project, we are talking upwards of 15,000 jobs across the region.

Ultimately, these investments will translate to benefits for Georgia workers and communities in the form of increased income, higher tax revenues, funding for infrastructure and schools, and reduced emissions that help improve air quality. Moreover, the downstream economic impact of this venture, and of EV investments in general, will help grow Georgia’s clean energy economy, strengthening local businesses while attracting new ones to our state.

These investments in production and manufacturing are also helping create new workforce training and development opportunities for Georgians, with a $65 million training center under construction right next to HMGMA. There, the Quick Start program will help train employees on the skills they need to seamlessly enter the workforce.

Quick Start, a state-funded workforce training program, has been instrumental in attracting companies to the region and cementing Georgia as a good place to do business.

Hyundai’s multi-billion-dollar investment in the Savannah region is just one of many examples of recent EV projects that are helping drive real investments in Georgia communities. Thanks to the efforts by Governor Kemp to increase our state’s manufacturing capabilities and attract new and clean energy jobs to the state, Bryan County is now one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States.

Maintaining and increasing investments in EV manufacturing, production, and related technology will help build on that growth and further Georgia’s reputation as a leader in electrified mobilty, in the United States and throughout the country. By expanding America’s clean energy workforce and strengthening domestic supply chains for EV production, we can ensure a stronger, cleaner, and more economically vibrant future for communities throughout Georgia and nationwide.

Eric Johnson is the Savannah JDA Project Director for Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, a planned electric vehicle plant in Bryan County, as well as an architect and former member of both the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate.

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