US to unveil guidelines on EV battery tax credits next month

Jang arrived in Washington this week for talks with his U.S. counterpart, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, on a wide range of issues, including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
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WASHINGTON: The US plans to release additional information on the provision of tax credits for new electric vehicle (EV) purchases next month as scheduled, South Korea's visiting Industry Vice Minister Jang Young-jin said.

Jang arrived in Washington this week for talks with his U.S. counterpart, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, on a wide range of issues, including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The IRA offers U.S. government tax credits of up to $7,500 to each buyer of a new electric vehicle assembled in North America and with batteries made of a certain amount of critical minerals produced in the region as well, reports Yonhap news agency.

The U.S. Department of Treasury earlier said it will release information on the direction of the "critical mineral and battery component requirements that vehicles must meet to qualify for tax incentives in the IRA" in March.

"It is not advantageous to us to have this uncertain environment continue, and so we asked the U.S. side to quickly make (the requirements) clear in March," Jang said while meeting with reporters here.

"The U.S. side said it will do so in principle," he added.

Seoul has been expressing concerns that the IRA, signed into law in August 2022, may undermine the competitiveness of South Korean-made electric vehicles in the U.S. since no South Korean automakers currently produce EVs in the region.

South Korea's two-largest carmakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are scheduled to start producing EVs in the U.S. next year, but requirements for EV battery minerals and components may again prevent their clean energy cars, set to be produced here, from being entitled to the full benefits of the IRA.

A Hyundai Motor official here has said the company may be forced to consider relocating their U.S. production facilities being built should the IRA continue to damage its business conditions in the U.S., also noting the company has made significant investments outside of North America to secure critical minerals for EVs.

Jang said he has "thoroughly" explained Seoul's position on the proposed guidelines on EV battery minerals and components.

"The U.S. side said it too will carefully examine (the situation)," he said.

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