If you read interviews with Toyota executives from different markets, you’ll get mixed signals from the company regarding the automotive industry’s electrification process. Some execs say there’s a lack of serious consumer demand for EVs but others believe it’s time to embrace electric cars with open hands. What probably matters the most, however, is that Toyota wants to boost the production of batteries for EVs for which “demand is growing.”
The Japanese automaker has just announced a massive new investment in battery production with a total of 730 billion yen to be invested in Japan and the United States. This figure equals approximately $5.6 billion, roughly $2.5 billion of which will be invested in the Toyota Battery Manufacturing in North Carolina. There’s just one clear goal – increasing automotive battery production.
The investment is part of Toyota’s strategy to build a complete supply system for the production of electric vehicles. A key part of this system is the supply of automotive batteries from its partners and its own production plants. Ultimately, the manufacturer wants to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible and as quickly as possible in all regions and markets around the world. To achieve that, Toyota will offer multiple powertrain options tailored to the needs of the local customers.
Thanks to the new investment, the combined battery production capacity in Japan and the United States will be increased by up to 40 GWh. As part of the investment, the company will build more efficient production lines than before and will educate the personnel engaged in battery production. The actual battery production following this new investment is expected to begin between 2024 and 2026 and utilise the global Toyota Production System. Batteries produced in Japan and America will be exported to all markets where Toyota sells electric vehicles.
Gallery: 2023 Toyota bZ4X: Review
The bZ4x is currently Toyota's only purely electric vehicle on sale. It will be joined by the bZ3 which is likely to remain a China-only product. A larger bZ5 electric saloon is also on its way and a few more battery-powered models will follow shortly.