Toyota Motor North America is planning to build a $1.3 billion battery plant near the small town of Liberty, N.C., where the Japanese automaker plans to eventually produce enough lithium ion batteries to power up to 1.2 million vehicles per year.
News of the location leaked in November.
Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina is expected to begin production in 2025 with four production lines, each capable of producing batteries to power 200,000 vehicles, the company said in a statement Monday. The plant, to be co-owned and operated by Toyota and subsidiary Toyota Tsusho, is expected to later be expanded to six production lines. The automaker said the venture is expected to create 1,750 jobs. Liberty is in Randolph County, about 20 miles southeast of Greensboro, in the central part of the state.
Toyota Tsusho is a logistics company which has had plastics compounding and material delivery operations and coordinates operations with Toyota's plastics molding subsidiaries. The carmaker did not indicate in its announcement if the site will have any in-house plastics operations.
"The future of mobility is electrification and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is the ideal location to make that future a reality," Ted Ogawa, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement.
"North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including the infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled work force and a welcoming environment for doing business. Today marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership with the Tar Heel State as we embark on our journey to achieve carbon neutrality and provide mobility for all," he added.
The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 6 that "state and local governments offered an incentive package of more than $435 million over 20 years if the project in Randolph County meets investment benchmarks." The Journal cited state sources saying that the jobs at the plant "would pay roughly $62,000 a year on average."
As part of the announcement, Toyota committed to using "100 percent renewable energy" at the new battery plant, which will make batteries for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and eventually electric vehicles.
The site is 1,825 acres. Toyota did not disclose the size of the battery plant, however a company spokesperson said it will not take up the entire site. The company did not disclose what it will do with the remaining acreage.
Toyota also did not specify which vehicles or assembly plants its new battery plant will feed, or whether they will be hybrids or full battery-electric vehicles such as its planned bZ4X crossover, which it showed to journalists last month in Southern California. Initial production of Toyota's EVs for sale in the U.S. is to be in Japan, though the company has said it ultimately plans to build EVs for sale in North America on the continent.