Toyota’s $1.29B North Carolina battery plant could help power 1.2 million vehicles a year

The news: Toyota announced it will break ground on a new US battery manufacturing facility in the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite in North Carolina, to be completed in 2025 as part of its pivot to EVs.

More on this: The facility will consist of four production lines that can each deliver batteries for 200,000 vehicles a year. The aim is to produce enough power cells to support 1.2 million cars yearly, per Engadget.

  • The plant, part of Toyota’s broader $9.5 billion investment to expand battery production in the US, will create 1,740 jobs, per The Wall Street Journal.
  • The carmaker picked the location because it has access to renewable energy. In addition, North Carolina offered $271.4 million in incentives to lure Toyota. 
  • Toyota teamed up with Panasonic in 2020 to create the first commercially viable EV solid-state battery, which it claims will one day provide 300 miles of range and charge in 10 minutes. Solid-state batteries for EVs are expected to be in production by 2025.
  • Toyota is playing catch-up in the EV industry in terms of battery production. Known largely for its hybrid-electric models, the company invested in early fuel cell technology solutions, which have failed to yield results.

What’s the catch: Toyota is embarking on various aggressive EV battery production projects in the US in anticipation of 2030 EV targets, but these aren’t expected to yield any viable battery solutions until 2025—which means continued short-term battery scarcity.

The opportunity: Lithium-ion battery producers have a window of opportunity to cater to Toyota and competing automotive companies while they ramp up in-house battery production. 

  • While there’s a risk in outsourcing battery production, it still remains a viable option to get more EVs out the gate earlier.