Asia Minute: Evolution of electric vehicle and battery charging in trade and manufacturing

Electric vehicle makers in Asia are unhappy that US tax breaks will not apply to their products under President Biden’s Cut Inflation Act, signed into law two weeks ago.

But it’s also part of a wider set of developments in trade and manufacturing.

A delegation of South Korean trade officials is in Washington this week.

The Foreign Office says they are in town to ‘relay concerns’ about the Cut Inflation Act – and its exclusion of vehicles made outside North America from tax breaks for consumers buying electric vehicles.

South Korean automakers in particular say it’s unfair.

Yonhap News Agency reports that these companies point out that earlier this year they announced plans to invest more than $5 billion in the United States to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries.

These promises were made during President Biden’s visit to Seoul in May.

Meanwhile, planning continues for an electric future – and not just with South Korean automakers.

On Monday, South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution announced a joint venture with Japanese automaker Honda to build a new battery factory in the United States.

LG Energy Solution will control 51% of the $4.4 billion joint venture – which will be the first factory project set up by a Korean battery maker and a Japanese automaker.

Nikkei Asia reports that the plant location will be in Ohio, which is already home to the largest of Honda’s 12 plants in North America.