Dec 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on November 17.
The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite will employ 1,750 people and have four production lines, each capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles when it opens, per a Toyota statement.

  • It will be the first plant to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.
  • The company aims to expand to at least six production lines for a combined total of up to 1.2 million vehicles per year.

Driving the news: The site will be named Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina and funds will partially come from a $3.4 billion investment that was announced in October.

What they're saying: Toyota Motor North America CEO Ted Ogawa said in a statement that the "future of mobility is electrification" and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite was the ideal location.

  • "North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including the infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled work force, and a welcoming environment for doing business," he said.

Between the lines: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller.

The big picture: Toyota believes that a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs is better for the environment, a strategy the company is using in its attempt to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

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