Toyota to Build $ 1.3 Billion Battery Plant Near Greensboro, North Carolina

Toyota announced Monday that it plans to build a $ 1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Greensboro, North Carolina, It will employ at least 1,750 people and help meet the automotive giant’s growing electric vehicle sales goals this decade.

The leaders of the company together with the governor Roy Cooper and other elected and economic development officials came together to present the project on hundreds of acres at the Megasite Greensboro-Randolph in Liberty, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Raleigh.

Initially, Toyota will receive or could receive more than $ 430 million in cash incentives, tax breaks and infrastructure improvements from the state of North Carolina and local governments if it meets job creation and investment goals, according to officials and documents.

The Japanese automaker said the plant would start making batteries in 2025.

The announcement marks a massive achievement for the Greensboro-area economy, which is still seeking replacement jobs after the region’s generational textile industry withered in the 1990s and 2000s.

Local leaders had been working for several years to get such a large company on the site. North Carolina lost to Alabama to a joint Toyota-Mazda auto manufacturing plant about four years ago.

Good things come to those who wait, “Cooper said during the announcement at the proposed site, saying that production will help North Carolina meet its goal as a leader in clean energy.” We look forward to everything related to the drums are part of this too. “

The plant is part of the $ 3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the US on car batteries over the next decade. It didn’t detail where the remaining $ 2.1 billion would be spent, but some of that will likely go to another battery factory.

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Toyota will form a new company to operate the new plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that now makes a variety of parts for the automaker. The company will also help Toyota expand its supply chain in the US, as well as increase its awareness of lithium-ion batteries for cars, Toyota said.

The site near Greensboro is relatively close to many of Toyota’s existing American car assembly plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, and Texas. The company has yet to announce where it will make fully electric vehicles for sale in the US.

North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled workforce, and a welcoming environment for doing business, “said Toyota Motor North America CEO Ted Ogawa, in a press release.

The jobs, expected to be created by 2029, will have average salaries of more than $ 62,000, according to economic development officials.

The company could get hundreds of millions of dollars in additional incentives if it accepts a second phase of the project, one in which Toyota would invest $ 3 billion and create more than 3,800 jobs in total.

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

Currently in the US, Toyota offers hydrogen vehicles, hybrids, and plug-in hybrid powertrains, but not battery-only vehicles. That has drawn criticism from environmental groups who accuse the company of slowing down in technology. Toyota says it will have 15 battery electric vehicles for sale worldwide by 2025.

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Toyota says that vehicles that run at least partially on electricity now account for about a quarter of its sales in the US, and it plans to see that rise to nearly 70% by 2030.

Monday’s announcement comes as automakers compete to build battery factories in North America to supply what is expected to be an exponentially growing demand for electric vehicles as the world shifts away from internal combustion engines. .

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, has said it will build two battery plants in North America. Ford announced three plants in Kentucky and Tennessee, and General Motors has said it will build four battery cell factories. Only two of those locations have been announced, in Ohio and Tennessee.

Consulting firm LMC Automotive expects US sales of new all-electric vehicles to reach nearly 400,000 this year, nearly double last year’s figures. But they still represent only about 2.6% of sales. But the firm expects sales to grow to more than 730,000 next year and more than 2 million by 2025. Even at 2 million, electric vehicle sales would still be only about 12% of new vehicle sales in the United States. .

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden obtained an auto industry commitment to produce electric vehicles for up to half of new vehicle sales in the United States by 2030.

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