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UPDATE: Rumours that Toyota will build a $1 billion battery plant in North Carolina are confirmed

Wed, 12/08/2021 - 09:36 -- Paul Crompton

Japanese vehicle OEM Toyota is set to invest $3.4 billion into lithium-ion battery production in the US.

The firm is planning to begin its investment with a $1.29 billion investment into a battery plant to build automotive batteries— wityh Toyota confirming the location is Greensboro, North Carolina this week.

Toyota’s overall investment will be made through to 2030.

Despite Toyota’s reticence to confirm last week, a number of media outlets and details set out in a budget bill by the state all pointed to rumours of the location being true.

On 18 November, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper signed into law a budget bill that enables the state to offer $135 million in aid to an unspecified manufacturer that is interested in the Greensboro industrial park and will commit to “invest at least $1 billion in private funds and create at least 1,750 eligible positions”.

A Toyota spokesman told BEST the company’s investment would “create 1,750 new American jobs”.

An additional $185 million in funding will be provided by the North Carolina state if the manufacturer boosts its investment to $3 billion and increases the job creation to at least 3,875 eligible positions at the site, according to the bill.

Details in the bill about the site subsidies were reported by the Triad Business Journal, a Greensboro-based trade publication.

North Carolina’s rise

The Toyota buzz is the latest in a string of announcements by battery firms and carmakers laying the groundwork in the US state. 

In July, Chemicals firm Albermarle opened its Battery Materials Innovation Centre (BMIC) in North Carolina to develop lithium metal anode technologies that increase a lithium-ion battery’s energy density.

In May, Systems Sunlight, a member of Greek consortium Olympia Group, launched a subsidiary to run a 2GWh 105,000 square feet assembly hub for lithium-ion and lead batteries in North Carolina.

The new subsidiary, Sunlight Battery US, and assembly plant follow a $10 million investment.

Image: Toyota's UK vehicle manufacturing plant

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