In an attempt to bring some of its own electric car supply chain to the United States, Toyota will construct a $1.29 billion battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Toyota recently announced a $13.6 billion investment in battery technology within the next decade, along with a $9 billion investment in manufacturing, as part of its efforts to electrify its car lineup.
Toyota plans to spread the $1.29 billion cost of the new production plant within next decade, but production is expected to begin in 2025, according to Chris Reynolds, Toyota Motor North America’s chief administrative officer. Toyota plans to produce battery packs totaling 1.2 million for its upcoming electric vehicle lineup during the first year, according to Reynolds.
“This investment, which I believe is the biggest private capital investment in the history of North Carolina. It will generate a minimum of 1,750 new jobs and assist us to localize and develop automotive battery production,” Reynolds said at a press conference, “paving the way for the battery electric vehicles built right here in the United States of America.”
The factory will not be free of cost to taxpayers. North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee ratified a tax incentive package valued at $438.7 million to motivate Toyota to construct in the state, as per the News & Observer. Toyota’s battery manufacturing plant is the newest new facility to be announced as automakers rush to ramp up EV production. The BZ4X compact SUV, Toyota’s first long-range EV, is set to debut in mid-2022.
Ford and SK Innovation, which is a South Korean battery manufacturer, are investing $11.4 billion in several new industries in both Tennessee and Kentucky, while GM and its partner LG Chem are making plans for four new battery facilities in the United States. Volkswagen plans to have 6 battery cell manufacturing plants operational in Europe by 2030. Tesla is also nearing completion of its battery manufacturing plant in Berlin, which will produce 250GWh of electricity, roughly equivalent to the world’s current capacity for battery cell production.
As per GlobalData, which is a data and analytics company, global battery production is anticipated to increase from 95.3GWh in the year 2020 to about 410.5GWh in the year 2024. The announcement comes amid heated advocacy in Washington, DC, regarding the long run of the federal Electric Vehicle tax credit, which currently saves $7,500 on the purchase cost of some electric cars. Democrats in Congress have proposed raising the credit for purchases of the electric vehicles made in the United States by unionized workers to $12,500, provoking a backlash from the non-union companies such as Tesla and Toyota. Full-page newspaper ads accuse President Joe Biden as well as the Democrats of “playing politics with the environment,” according to the Japanese carmaker.