WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp
announced on Monday it is building a new $1.29 billion battery
plant in North Carolina as it moves to expand its hybrid and
electric vehicle efforts.
The new plant, at a site in Liberty that will begin
production in 2025, will initially be capable of supplying
lithium-ion batteries for 800,000 vehicles annually, and will
"pave the way" for Toyota's U.S. production of electric
vehicles, said Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer for
Toyota Motor North America.
The investment will be made by a new company called Toyota
Battery Manufacturing and is expected to create 1,750 new U.S.
In October, Toyota said it would establish a new company and
build a new U.S. automotive battery plant with Toyota Tsusho
, the automaker's metals trading arm and a unit of the
Toyota Group. Toyota will hold a 90% stake in the battery
North Carolina said the new plant will initially produce
batteries for Toyotas hybrid vehicles, and intends to produce
batteries for EVs long term.
The state will reimburse Toyota for up to $79.1 million over
20 years and if Toyota expands the project to $3 billion it
could receive up to an estimated $315 million.
The state approved additional support to help with final site
preparations, including $135 million for road and other site
improvements. If Toyota expands the project another $185 million
in site development funds would become available.
Toyota said the North Carolina plant plans to eventually
expand to at least six production lines for up to 1.2 million
The investment is part of Toyota's October announcement it
would invest $3.4 billion (380 billion yen) on U.S. automotive
battery development and production through 2030.
The funds are part of the $13.5 billion Toyota announced in
September it planned to spend globally by 2030 to develop
Automakers around the world are investing billions of
dollars to ramp up battery and electric vehicle production as
they face increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
Toyota has mounted a lobbying campaign to try to convince
U.S. lawmakers not to include an additional $4,500 tax incentive
for union-made electric vehicles.
In August, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive
order setting a target to make half of all new vehicles sold in
2030 zero-emissions vehicles.
Bidens 50% goal and the automakers 2030 goals includes
battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles that
also have a gasoline-engine.
(Reporting by David Shepardson
Editing by Marguerita Choy and Alistair Bell)