Toyota raises North Carolina battery plant investment by $8B

Toyota (TM) announces plans to invest an additional $8 billion in its EV battery plant based in the U.S. Yahoo Finance Senior Autos Reporter Pras Subramanian breaks down Toyota’s investments thus far in its North Carolina plant — now totaling $13.9 billion — and how other automakers are positioning themselves to expand EV production.

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Video Transcript

DIANE KING HALL: We’ve got some big news from Toyota today. The automaker announced that it is boosting its investment in battery manufacturing in the US. Now, of course, this comes after the company’s chairman and former CEO Akio Toyoda said, quote, “People are finally seeing reality that EV adoption will be an uphill battle.” Here with the details of the new investment from Toyota is Yahoo Finance’s senior autos reporter Pras Subramanian. Pras?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, Diane. Yes, so you know that you mentioned former CEO and now chairman Akio Toyoda, once a skeptic, now we’re seeing that, kind of, flipping here with Toyota doubling down on the EV space at least in the US. The automaker announced an expansion of that– of an EV investment at its north Carolina battery manufacturing plant by nearly $8 billion. That investment will add about 3,000 new jobs to this upcoming plant.

Toyota says that the new investment brings its total outlay there to about $13.9 billion with 5,000 total jobs now at the place. So the new factory will make batteries for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And this comes after, like you said, the automaker said, had shown some ambivalence to full EVs.

Akio Toyoda once claiming the media is the one who wants EVs and the EVs going mainstream would take some time. Now, Toyoda took some heat for that and would step down with former Lexus head Koji Sato taking over. Sato is seen more as an EV realist and the board agreed.

Now, this comes as we see GM and Ford here pushing back some of those investments. Toyota is now making some big investments, but it can be said Toyota was, sort of, behind when it comes to catching up with EVs. And in 2025 being this the launch date for that plant, it seems at that point potentially EVs will be a bit more mainstream or at least the tide will be turning, which is slowly has been over the past couple years.

BRAD SMITH: Pras, this is huge here as we’re continuing to watch some of the reaction here in autos. Pras, thanks so much for breaking this down for us. Really appreciate it.

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