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Toyota is Investing an Additional $2.5 Billion to Expand its North Carolina Factory to Boost EV Battery Production

Toyota is Investing an Additional $2.5 Billion to Expand its North Carolina Factory to Boost EV Battery Production

Author: Eric Walz   

The world's automakers continue to make multi-billion dollar investments to produce more electric vehicles, including Toyota Motor Corp. The automaker announced on Wednesday that it will invest an additional $2.5 billion at its newest U.S. facility, "Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina" (TBMNC), to prepare the plant to produce batteries for electric vehicles, which is scheduled to begin in 2025.

The North Carolina facility will also produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) for Toyota's U.S.-built electrified models. Once fully operational, TBMNC is anticipated to produce battery packs for 1.2 million electrified vehicles per year. 

Toyota's latest investment is part of a larger $70 billion in electrification. The automaker also announced a future battery production commitment of up to $5.6 billion, which includes its investment in North Carolina. 

Toyota's plant in Liberty, North Carolina opened in 2021 after an initial investment of $1.29 billion for battery production, which created roughly 1,750 new jobs. The latest investment brings Toyota's total investment in North Carolina to $3.8 billion. 

"This marks another significant milestone for our company," said Norm Bafunno, senior vice president, Unit Manufacturing and Engineering at Toyota Motor North America. "This plant will serve a central role in Toyota's leadership toward a fully electrified future and will help us meet our goal of carbon neutrality in our vehicles and global operations by 2035." 

Toyota's factory in North Carolina contributes to the Southeast U.S. region's emergence as a booming auto production hub. The automaker's investment in North Carolina is one of largest manufacturing investments in the state's history, according to North Carolina's Commerce Department. 

In Dec 2021, North Carolina's Economic Investment Committee approved an inventive package worth $438.7 million for Toyota to build and expand the plant.

"This is an exciting time for Toyota, the region and the many North Carolinians we will soon employ," said Sean Suggs, TBMNC president. "This incremental investment reflects our continued commitment to ensuring jobs and future economic growth for the Triad region."  

Other overseas automakers with factories in the Southeast U.S. states include Volvo Cars, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Nissan and Mazda. 

Toyota is also investing in EV battery recycling efforts in the U.S. as the company transitions to electrification. In June, Toyota announced a collaboration with electric vehicle battery recycling startup Redwood Materials, a company founded by Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel. 

The two companies plan to build an entire closed loop ecosystem in North America for the recycling of batteries from Toyota's future hybrid and fully-electric vehicles. The collaboration will include the collection, testing and recycling of used batteries into raw materials to create a sustainable supply chain. 

Toyota and Redwood Materials also aim to develop second-life opportunities for remanufactured and repurposed hybrid electric vehicle batteries by leveraging battery health screening tools and data from its vehicles.

Toyota aims to sell roughly 8 million electrified vehicles a year by 2030, which includes an  investment of roughly $70 billion to develop purely-electric, plug-in hybrids, hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. Toyoya is aiming for 2 million of these new vehicles to be fully-electric.

The plans are part of Toyota's long-term strategy of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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