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Toyota Doubles Investment In NC Battery Production Center

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Toyota is investing an additional $8 billion in a hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Liberty, NC. The new financing more than doubles the automobile manufacturer’s initial investment in what it calls the epicenter of its North American lithium-ion battery production. 

The site will be a key supplier for a Kentucky-based plant to build its first United States-made vehicles. The additional investment at the Liberty plant will bring Toyota’s total investment in the Tar Heel State to $13.9 billion. More than 5,000 new jobs are expected at the facility.

“Toyota’s latest expansion in North Carolina is monumental,” North Carolina State Sen. Phil Berger said in a statement. “The additional jobs and increased capital investment are proof that the Triad and our rural communities are prepared to support high-tech manufacturing. I’m thankful for Toyota’s dedication to our state, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and employ hard-working North Carolinians.”

Photo Courtesy Toyota

The investment will add eight battery production lines for EVs and plug-in hybrids at the Liberty plant, which has been under construction since 2021. Toyota has also committed to using only 100% renewable energy to produce batteries at the location. 

The batteries will power three new, three-row, battery electric SUVs made at the Toyota plant in Kentucky beginning in 2025.

Production at Liberty will gradually phase in, with various line launches planned through 2030. The final total production number will be more than 30 gigawatt hours yearly. Globally, the company plans to sell at least 15 battery EVs by 2025, including an electrified version of every Toyota and Lexus model.

“[The additional funding] reinforces Toyota’s commitment to electrification and carbon reduction, bringing jobs and future economic growth to the region,” Sean Suggs, Toyota North Carolina president, said in a press release. “We are excited to see the continued energy and support of this innovative manufacturing facility.”

Photo Courtesy Toyota

The North Carolina investment is part of Toyota’s plan to sell at least 1.5 million electric or hybrid vehicles in the U.S. by the end of the decade. Many automakers have been racing to catch up with the increasing demand for EVs in the country. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, EVs in the U.S. are responsible for about 8% of the world’s battery production capacity. Toyota’s investment is a part of the necessary infrastructure to help the country reach its net-zero emissions goals by 2050, a goal highly impacted by the use of fossil fuel-free EVs in both the private and public sectors.

“We are committed to reducing carbon emissions as much as possible and as soon as possible,” Ted Ogawa, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said in a press release.

Photo Courtesy Toyota

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