Toyota is investing $1.3 billion in its Kentucky manufacturing facility to support future electrification plans, including the production of the company’s battery electric SUV and the addition of a battery pack assembly line.
The facility is Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant, producing more than 550,000 vehicles annually. As the company works to achieve carbon-neutral operations and targets 70% electrified new vehicle sales by 2030, the site has expanded to help meet those goals.
The facility recently adopted a flexible engine line to support the market shift towards hybrid and electric vehicles, and the new investment further reflects the company’s commitment to bringing EVs to the market. The company said it aims to have an electrified option for all of its Toyota and Lexus models worldwide by 2025.
The addition of the battery pack assembly line follows the company’s latest $8 billion investment in its North Carolina battery plant, which will supply batteries to the Kentucky facility.
In addition to its investments in the facility, now totaling nearly $10 billion, Toyota has reportedly also made over $154 million in local donations to support Kentucky communities, offering education and workforce training in the state.
“You cannot think of the Bluegrass region and Scott County without thinking of Toyota,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, governor of Kentucky. “We are grateful that they continue to invest in our commonwealth and continue to set a standard for high-quality, well-paying jobs for our citizens.”
Kentucky’s Shift from Coal State to EV, Clean Energy Hub
In addition to the Toyota facility expansion, Kentucky has become a leader in the United States EV industry, ranging from battery production and vehicle manufacturing to battery recycling. The state has reportedly gained $10.9 billion in new investments from EV-related projects and has been working to establish a supplier network for the EV market.
The state, known traditionally for its automobile and coal industries, has taken advantage of the clean energy transition to revitalize communities formerly reliant on fossil fuel development. Toyota recently partnered with Savion on the Martin County Solar Project, which will transform a former Kentucky coal mine into a new solar energy facility. Duke Energy has also taken on several new clean energy projects in the state, such as a recent solar panel installation at an Amazon hub.
Especially for a state where many have lost jobs due to declining coal markets, clean energy development may offer new job pathways and further the state economy.