Car maker Toyota announced an $8 billion investment at the group’s new plant, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina. Toyota said the investment will support both conventional battery vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
It will add eight more production lines for BEVs to the two previously announced and the four production lines for hybrid vehicle batteries. The investment adds 3,000 more jobs to the 2,000 already confirmed. The total investment is estimated at $13.9 billion.
According to Toyota, the North Carolina unit in the town of Liberty will support Toyota’s multi-pathway approach to global vehicle electrification. In 2030 the total production will exceed 30GWh annually. This is a substantial addition to Toyota’s output of hybrid, plug-in PHEVs, fuel-cell and BEVs, 24.6 million cars since the first Prius hybrid model was launched in 1997.
When the factory starts production in 2025 it will be Toyota’s first automotive battery plant globally. The company has a reputation for being sceptical about BEVs and of wanting to develop other solutions for electrification, from hybrids to hydrogen fuel cell luxury cars.
Former CEO Akio Toyoda has said people are seeing that EV adoption will be an uphill battle. But Toyota has now committed to offering an electric version of all its passenger cars and the company is investing heavily in solid-state battery and bipolar lithium-ion battery research.