autoevolution
 

Toyota Will Spend $1.29 Billion to Build Lithium-Ion Battery Plant in North Carolina

Toyota wants to produce its own lithium-ion cells in the U.S. It announced on December 7 that it would invest $1.29 billion to build the TBMNC, or Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina. When it starts operations by 2025, it will produce enough cells for 200,000 electrified vehicles per year in its Greensboro-Randolph Megasite plant.
Toyota announces TBMNC: Toyota battery manufacturing, North Carolina 22 photos
Toyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota's Electrification StrategyToyota Announces TBMNC: Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina
Green Car Reports asked what Toyota meant by “electrified vehicles,” and the company said that it meant hybrid vehicles. However, Toyota’s hybrids use nickel-metal hydride battery packs. The only “hybrids” with the lithium-ion cells are the PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), such as the Prius Prime and the RAV4 Prime. The latter has a very high demand in the U.S.

There are other aspects of the announcement that deserve attention. When TBMNC starts producing lithium-ion batteries, Toyota should already have released its solid-state cell technology. In other words, the new factory may already be prepared to make the new cells as much as the ones the company’s plug-in hybrids will need.

Getting enough cells for 200,000 electrified vehicles per year is just the beginning. The new lithium-ion cell factory can be expanded to produce cells for 1.2 million cars per year, with at least six production lines, each of them manufacturing batteries for 200,000 vehicles. Curiously, the company did not reveal how many GWh the factory will be able to produce. We just know it is part of a strategy to have a 200 GWh capacity per year by 2030.

The $1,29 billion investment in the factory is part of an investment of $3.4 billion Toyota disclosed in October 2018. The Japanese carmaker expects to create 1,750 new jobs with TBMNC, but it did not inform if this number would be the initial or the final one, with all six production lines already working. Considering the company is talking about the total, we’d bet on the last option.

The four more years to wait clearly indicate that the factory has bigger plans than just lithium-ion cells for PHEVs. If that were Toyota’s only goal, TBMNC could start its activities by 2023 or even earlier. This is an excellent reason to follow news about the new factory and Toyota’s solid-state cells with close attention. It will be strategically more relevant than the short announcement from Toyota makes it seem.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories