Toyota invests $50m in US battery lab
In the USA, Toyota is investing almost 50 million US dollars in a new battery laboratory. This will be built at the research and development headquarters in York Township and will go into operation in 2025.
The investment illustrates Toyota’s “change of direction towards electrification”, says Shinichi Yasui, Vice President at Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Research and Development.
The goal is to evaluate the development of batteries for electric vehicles from cell to package. This is to assist Toyota’s battery plant in North Carolina and the recently announced production of BEV SUVs in Kentucky. In 2021, Toyota announced investments in EV production and development with a new company in the United States to drive the localisation of battery production.
“By adding these critical evaluation capabilities around automotive batteries, our team is positioned to better serve the needs of our customers, including Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, the latter of which will soon be assembling the recently announced all-new, three-row, battery-electric SUV,” Yasui added.
The team at the new battery lab will also work with North American suppliers to integrate locally produced battery components and materials. Beyond battery development, the lab will also evaluate charging infrastructure. In addition, chassis dynamometers at Toyota’s research and development sites in York Township and Ann Arbor will be upgraded to allow the evaluation of BEVs.
In addition to working with current battery production, Toyota says engineers will explore new battery configurations for future products. These could contribute to Toyota’s development of new electrified vehicle architectures, among other things.
Toyota is keeping an open mind as to whether other tasks and competencies will be located in the new battery lab in the coming years to “support the needs of the battery and BEV ecosystem”.