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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

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DETROIT: Toyota plans to build a new $1.29 billion factory in the US to manufacture batteries for gas-electric hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

The plant location was not announced, but the company said it eventually will employ 1,750 people and start making batteries in 2025, gradually expanding through 2031.

The plant is part of $3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the US on automotive batteries during the next decade. It did not detail where the remaining $2.1 billion would be spent, but part of that likely will go for another battery factory.

It comes amid a flurry of global announcements about shoring up production of batteries for electric vehicles. Most automakers are working to transition away from internal combustion engines to zero emission battery vehicles.

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, and LG Energy Solution said Monday that they plan to build a battery manufacturing facility to help the automaker get 40 percent of its US sales from electric vehicles by 2030. They did not say where the plant would be.

Ford, General Motors and Toyota have announced large investments in U.S. battery factories. GM plans to build battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, while Ford has plans for plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Toyota will form a new company to run its new US battery plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that now makes an array of parts for the automaker. The company also will help Toyota expand its US supply chain, as well as increase its knowledge of lithium-ion auto batteries, Toyota said on Monday.

“Today’s commitment to electrification is about achieving long-term sustainability for the environment, American jobs and consumers,” Ted Ogawa, Toyota’s North American CEO, said in a statement.

The new plant would likely be near one of the company’s US assembly plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama or Texas.

Toyota plans to sell 2 million zero emission hydrogen and battery electric vehicles worldwide per year by 2030. In the US, Toyota plans to sell 1.5 million to 1.8 million vehicles by 2030 in the US that are at least partially electrified.

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