Texas, Oct. 31 (BNA): Toyota Motor said on Tuesday it would boost investment by $8 billion and add about 3,000 jobs at its electric-vehicle battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina, accelerating the Japanese automaker’s push to electrify its lineup.
The company, which plans to have electrified options for all its models available by 2025, said the latest move will bring its total investment in the plant to about $13.9 billion and jobs to more than 5,000.
Legacy automakers such as Ford Motor and General Motors have been racing to ramp up their EV output and close the gap with market leader Tesla, although both Detroit-based companies have scaled back their investment plans after reaching expensive new contract agreements with the United Auto Workers union, Reuters reported.
Toyota did not disclose a breakup of the investment and was not immediately available for further comment.
Unlike global peers, Toyota had earlier bet on hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles rather than battery EVs, but the world’s top-selling automaker this year announced a pivot, with plans to commercialize advanced batteries and adopt die-casting technology pioneered by Tesla.
Other companies such as Samsung SDI Co, Panasonic, and Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV also plan to set up bases in the U.S. to develop their battery plants.
Toyota’s North Carolina facility is set to begin operations in 2025 and will be the company’s first automotive battery plant globally.
It will have six battery production lines, four supporting hybrid vehicles such as the Prius, and two additional lines to support battery EVs.
NORTH CAROLINA HUB
North Carolina is emerging as a leading hub for electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, with new investments planned by companies ranging from Redwood Materials to Vietnam’s Vinfast.
“North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy is bringing better-paying jobs that will support our families and communities for decades to come,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday, following news of Toyota’s increased investment.
The state will also host a $650 million battery plant that India’s Epsilon Advanced Materials (EAM) plans to open in 2026, the company announced last week, and the facility could eventually supply up to 1.1 million electric vehicles in the United States.
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