Toyota invests more than a billion dollars to electrify US plant
The new investment in the US vehicle plant will be in preparation for the production of a large electric SUV, which Toyota plans to build in Kentucky from 2025. According to earlier information, the seven-seater will be a completely new model. To fulfil the US funding requirements, Toyota will use other components made in the US – for example, the battery packs, which will be assembled in-house. The batteries on which the pack is based come from Toyota’s battery plant in North Carolina, for which the manufacturer recently announced investments totalling a further eight billion dollars.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky is the Japanese car manufacturer’s largest US plant. The Toyota Camry has been built there since 1989 (now also as a hybrid), and the RAV4 Hybrid and the Lexus ES have also rolled off the production line there. The all-electric SUV is likely to be much larger than the 4.60 metre long RAV4 Hybrid and surpass the Japanese company’s first electric SUV, the bZ4X (4.69 metres). When the then Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda gave a preview of 15 electric models in December 2021, a “bZ Large SUV” was also shown, but no details were given.
In its latest company announcement, Toyota emphasised that the 1.3 billion dollars reserved for the plant brings the total investment in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky to almost 10 billion dollars. “Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to vehicle electrification and further reinvesting in our US operations,” said Kerry Creech, president of Toyota Kentucky. “Generations of our team members helped prepare for this opportunity, and we will continue leading the charge into the future by remaining true to who we are as a company and putting our people first for generations to come.”
Since 2021, Toyota says it has set aside a total of 17 billion dollars in new investments in its US production facilities to accelerate the electrification of its sites. The Japanese business newspaper Nikkei reported a year ago that Toyota is aiming to produce one million electric vehicles a year worldwide by 2026. And that the US sites will be contributing 120,000 BEV cars within this framework.