Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T)announced on Monday it is building a new $1.29 billion battery plant in North Carolina as it moves to expand its 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 US 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 US jobs.
In October, Toyota said it would establish a new company and build a new US automotive battery plant with Toyota Tsusho (8015.T), the automaker’s metals trading arm and a unit of the Toyota Group. Toyota will hold a 90% stake in the battery company.
Toyota said the North Carolina plant plans to eventually expand to at least six production lines for a combined total of up to 1.2 million vehicles per year.
The investment is part of Toyota’s announcement last month that it would invest $3.4 billion (380 billion yen) on US automotive battery development and production in the United States through 2030.
The funds are part of the $13.5 billion Toyota announced in September it planned to spend globally by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system.
Toyota said the new company will initially focus on producing batteries for hybrid vehicles.
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 US 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.
Biden’s 50% goal and the automakers’ 2030 goals includes battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles that also have a gasoline-engine.