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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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 5, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Why electric pickup trucks are so hot

Expand chart
Reproduced from IHS Markit; Chart: Axios Visuals

Ford's stock jumped 12% Tuesday after it revealed plans to boost production of the electric F-150 pickup, and today rival General Motors will unveil the electric version of the Chevy Silverado pickup.

Why it matters: Pickups' early prominence in the wider EV plans of U.S. auto giants (GM also has an electric Hummer and plans an electric Sierra) signals how the industry sees an opening in the truck market.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
Jan 5, 2022 - Economy & Business

Toyota ascends to No. 1 automaker in U.S.

Expand chart
Data: Kelley Blue Book; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

GM and Ford may be making progress on electric vehicles, but Toyota became the best-selling automaker in the U.S. in 2021, usurping GM for the first time with strong sales of hybrid vehicles and SUVs.

The big picture: GM held the title since the Great Depression but has been losing market share for decades. GM's slide is partly by design. The automaker has discontinued a slew of passenger car models to focus on more-profitable SUVs and pickups.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
Jan 5, 2022 - Economy & Business

Ford announces plans to ramp up production on all-electric truck

The Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 18, 2021. Frederick J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The most popular American pickups are poised to test whether the nation's obsession with trucks can go electric.

Driving the news: Ford on Tuesday announced plans to nearly double production capacity of its forthcoming F-150 Lightning amid what it called “soaring customer demand.”

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