Toyota is increasing its investment in the Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina plant, with an additional $8 billion being poured into the project. This marks the second expansion of the battery plant even before it commences operations. Notably, this investment is the largest by Toyota in a single project in North America.
The expansion is set to quintuple the number of battery production lines specifically dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids, increasing the count from two to ten. This expansion also considerably boosts the planned production capacity to more than 30 gigawatt-hours annually. In addition, four more lines are under construction to produce batteries for hybrid vehicles, bringing the total number of battery assembly lines in the facility to 14.
This strategic move by Toyota aligns with their commitment to electrification in North America. The batteries produced at this facility will find applications in future Toyota vehicles in North America, including a three-row electric crossover planned for 2025 at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky assembly plant. Moreover, Toyota’s partner, Subaru, is expected to use the batteries from this plant for a similar three-row crossover.
The production at this battery plant, which was initially announced in 2021, is planned to be phased in until 2030. With this latest expansion, the lithium-ion battery campus’s size will expand to around 7 million square feet, covering a significant portion of the 1,800-acre site. The President of Toyota North Carolina, Sean Suggs, highlighted that this expansion positions the plant for significant production capacity to support various vehicle lines in North America.
The $8 billion expansion by Toyota is a substantial corporate investment in North Carolina, surpassing the previous record of a $5 billion silicon carbide wafer production facility. These wafers are vital components used in semiconductor chips for EV chargers and other electronic devices.
This expansion reflects a significant shift in Toyota’s strategy towards electric vehicles. While Toyota has been known for its commitment to hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology, they are now actively pursuing a more comprehensive electric vehicle strategy. Toyota has unveiled a new generation of dedicated EVs scheduled to launch from 2026, signaling their intent to compete with established electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla and emerging players like China’s BYD.
The expansion of the Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina plant not only represents a substantial investment but also a significant step towards Toyota’s growing commitment to electric vehicles in North America. This move positions Toyota to be a major player in the electric vehicle market and supports their goal of producing a wide range of electrified vehicles to meet the changing demands of consumers.