Toyota to Build $1.29 Billion Battery Plant in North Carolina

(Credit: Toyota)

by | Dec 7, 2021

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(Credit: Toyota)

Toyota will build a $1.29 billion battery plant for electric vehicles in North Carolina, the company’s first such manufacturing site in North America.

The facility will be able to make enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 electric vehicles, Toyota says, and will have the capability to expand to at least six production lines and up to 1.2 million vehicles per year. The plant will be located near Greensboro and is expected to be ready for production in 2025.

Initially the North Carolina plant will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, but Toyota says eventually it will make materials for battery electric vehicles at the location. Currently electric vehicles make up about a quarter of Toyota’s sales, but the company says that will increase to 70% by 2030.

The agreement to build the facility follow’s Toyota’s announcement in October that it will spend $3.4 billion through 2030 to make batteries in the United States. That is part of its plan to invest $13.6 billion overall on battery production, which includes efforts to improve battery technology and cost.

Electric vehicle use is expected to rapidly grow in the coming years. A report by BloombergNEF says that sales will grow by 80% and surpass 5.6 million units in 2021 and that the number of zero emissions vehicles could reach 655 million by 2040.

The production and use of electric vehicles are also key components of net zero plans by both manufacturers and policy makers.

At COP26 11 automakers and more than 30 countries signed a pledge for all new vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2040, although Toyota was not among them. The company told Reuters that it is ready to help accelerate efforts regarding zero emissions vehicles, but it doesn’t think the foundation exists in many parts of the world for complete use of the vehicles and it will take more time to make progress toward reaching the goal.

Still, with legislation such as the US’s Build Back Better Act, which has a significant focus on renewable energy, including $320 billion of tax credits in part that are aimed at encouraging the use and production of electric vehicles, battery production is expected to continue to be a priority.

The new battery plant will be named Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina.

Toyota says it picked the site in part because of renewable energy availability in the area. The company says it expects to use 100% renewable energy at the facility.

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