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Georgia governor fires at Biden over electric vehicle policy while welcoming new battery plant

The new $800 million plant has received over $100 million in benefits from President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.

Published: June 27, 2023 3:53pm

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp openly criticized President Biden’s electric vehicle policy while celebrating the arrival of an electric battery factory in southwest Georgia, during the factory’s groundbreaking on Tuesday. 

“Georgia’s electric mobility boom is taking place because our state is second to none for companies looking to invest, relocate, expand, and innovate – not because the federal government continues to put their thumb on the scale, favoring a few companies over the industry as a whole,” Kemp said.

The factory, owned by Avion Technologies, received more than $100 million from the infrastructure law Biden signed, to refine graphite for electric batteries, and plans to add 400 new jobs.

Georgia has welcomed over 40 electric vehicle-related projects since 2020, promising 28,400 jobs and $22.7 billion in investment, according to AP News.

Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff argues the state’s investment boom was the result of Democratic policies.

“It is bizarre to attend a groundbreaking and launch a political attack on the very policy that made the groundbreaking possible,” Ossoff told the outlet before the event. “The governor is throwing a panicked political tantrum over the success of federal manufacturing policies in his own state.”

Kemp voiced his frustrations with the Inflation Reduction Act specifically, which is providing billions of dollars in electric vehicle subsidies, not that electric car manufacturer Rivian Automotive announced a $5 billion plant east of Atlanta in December 2021 and Hyundai announced their plant in May 2022, both before Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act.

Kemp has been more favorable toward electric vehicles than Trump, saying he wants to make Georgia the “e-mobility capital of the nation.” Former President Donald Trump announced at the Georgia Republican convention that he would end Biden’s electric vehicle policies if re-elected, saying “First day in office, I’ll be ending all of that.”

Kemp has also stressed that he is against the incentives and wants the free market to dictate electric vehicle production.

“Unlike top-down systems like China’s, and those advocated by some on the federal level, we aren’t dictating how this growth happens,” Kemp said Tuesday. “We aren’t picking winners and losers. We’re letting the market drive this innovation and expansion.”

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