Toyota to triple investment in EV battery plant in US

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Toyota Motor said it will enhance its planned investment in a new U.S. battery plant from $1.29 billion to $3.8 billion.

Battery maker Panasonic will be a partner in the Liberty, North Carolina, plant through its Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES) joint venture with Toyota, according to Norm Bafunno, senior vice president of powertrain manufacturing and engineering at Toyota Motor North America.

The Liberty plant is slated to open in 2025. PPES will provide expertise in battery making technology and equipment, Toyota said in a news statement.

Panasonic also has a joint battery making venture with Tesla in Nevada and recently announced plans to build a $4 billion plant in Kansas that is expected to supply Tesla and other automakers.

When Toyota announced the initial $1.29 billion investment last fall, North Carolina said the state would boost reimbursement to Toyota by $315 million if the company’s investment topped $3 billion.

Toyota now plans to add two production lines dedicated to making batteries for fully electric vehicles at the Liberty plant, in addition to the four lines initially planned to make smaller batteries for hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius. Toyota did not provide the plant’s planned production capacity.

Initially, the plant will make lithium-ion batteries using relatively conventional electrode technology – a mixture of nickel, cobalt and manganese for the cathode and graphite for the anode.

The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act provides incentives for manufacturers and tax credits to consumers aimed at boosting local content in EVs and batteries.

Toyota’s additional investment of $2.5 billion adds capacity in North Carolina to support battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery production and adds 350 jobs, bringing the total employment to 2,100. The facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and BEVs.

Last year, Toyota Motor announced a global investment of approximately $70 billion (8 trillion JPY) for electrification efforts.

In 2021, Toyota, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho, announced the new Liberty location with an initial investment of $1.29 billion for battery production and the creation of 1,750 new jobs. With today’s announcement, TBMNC’s total investment is $3.8 billion.

Toyota North Carolina is seeking motivated individuals to join its leadership team. To view and apply for open positions, visit www.toyota.com/careers. Production and maintenance employee positions will be available in early 2023.