Hyundai Lobbying U.S. to Ease EV Tax Credit Rule on Foreign Automakers

Hyundai and the South Korean government are lobbying the White House to loosen electric vehicle (EV) tax credit restrictions on foreign automakers, as detailed in a report from Automotive News.

The recently passed $7,500 tax credit rules within the Inflation Reduction Act require EV manufacturers to build their vehicles in the U.S. in order to qualify for the incentive. Hyundai is building an EV plant in Georgia, though it isn’t expected to be complete until 2025.

In particular, Hyundai is asking the U.S. to delay the requirement for North American manufacturing, according to one source familiar with the matter.

“A sudden change of the subsidy program for EVs would be an unexpected hurdle that we need to overcome in order to construct a sound and solid EV business in the United States,” said Hyundai President Young-Woon Jong in a letter to U.S. Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA) dated August 10.

The automaker says the rule could put the company at a disadvantage, despite the fact that South Korea is home to three of the world’s largest EV battery manufacturers.

The outcome could be based on how the Biden administration interprets the law, though South Korea remains an important trade partner in the globally emerging EV market.

Hyundai also argued that the change should consider South Korea’s free-trade agreement with the U.S., instead of treating Korean-produced batteries, minerals and vehicles as equal to those produced within the states.

Hyundai recently revealed its IONIQ 6 EV, while its IONIQ 5 and subsidiary Kia EV6 continue to sell well in the U.S.