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Toyota’s first EV seed: North Carolina battery plant

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In October, Toyota stated it could make investments $3.4 billion within the U.S. over the subsequent 9 years to develop and localize automotive battery manufacturing, together with these for EVs that might be made regionally as a substitute of in Japan.

The U.S. funding is a part of a beforehand introduced $13.5 billion program globally by the Japanese automaker for battery improvement and manufacturing, which, not like most different automakers, intends to maintain battery manufacturing in-house as a substitute of counting on massive suppliers. Toyota has not but laid out the way it intends to spend the remaining $2.1 billion of its declared funding.

Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst for the Americas with IHS Markit, stated she could not speculate on Toyota’s future plans for the North Carolina website past what the automaker had introduced. Nonetheless, she did notice that battery packs for EVs are “very heavy, and automakers are unlikely to wish to transfer them very far.”

This isn’t the primary time Toyota has thought of the Tar Heel State for a serious funding. Former Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz instructed Automotive Information in 2019 that Charlotte had been a finalist when the automaker was contemplating the place it could transfer its headquarters, together with Atlanta. The corporate finally selected Plano, Texas, primarily due to an absence of accessible housing close to Charlotte.

“The hardest half about that was housing — there simply weren’t sufficient houses,” stated Lentz, who retired in 2020. “I feel our individuals would have been preventing over the identical houses.”

Toyota Motor North America and its subsidiaries now make use of about 4,350 staff in and round its Plano headquarters, an organization spokesman stated.

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