Toyota to build its first North American battery plant in North Carolina




  • In Business
  • 2021-12-07 03:35:51Z
  • By Axios
 

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

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  • The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite will employ 1,750 people and have four production lines, each capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles when it opens, per a Toyota statement.

  • The company aims to expand to at least six production lines for a combined total of up to 1.2 million vehicles per year.

Driving the news: The site will be named Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina and funds will partially come from a $3.4 billion investment that was announced in October.

What they're saying: Toyota Motor North America CEO Ted Ogawa said in a statement that the "future of mobility is electrification" and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite was the ideal location.

  • "North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including the infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled work force, and a welcoming environment for doing business," he said.

The big picture: Toyota believes that a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs is better for the environment, a strategy the company is using in its attempt to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

  • It's one of several companies with plans or projects under way for new battery or electric vehicle factories. Others include Ford, General Motors and luxury EV startup Lucid Motors.

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