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Toyota Will Upgrade Two Engine Plants in Japan to Also Produce Batteries

Toyota announced it would upgrade two of its engine plants in Japan to also manufacture batteries. The move was celebrated as a sign that Toyota is giving in to the EV shift, but these assessments fail to realize these factories will keep producing engines. The change will only make them more versatile for the time being.
Toyota LQ Concept anticipated the company's interest in solid-state cells 14 photos
Toyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEV
That is an interesting approach, one that we could expect from Toyota. The company that sold the first hybrid vehicle as a way to transition to electric cars wants to do the same for its factories and employees. Although the main excuse for the change is to create a “multi-powertrain production system to help provide a wide range of options,” Toyota’s main drive is to preserve jobs.

The Japanese carmaker has been accused multiple times of wanting to slow down the electrification pace. In its defense, the company invested in Tesla in the early days and even created a RAV4 with a Tesla battery pack. However, it seems not to have been convinced that the technology was mature enough. Toyota is the leader in solid-state cell patents and said it will launch them in 2025 – in a hybrid car (for cost and testing purposes).

According to Automotive News, the Japanese carmaker will overhaul the Shimoyama engine plant and the Myochi powertrain factory. Both are close to Toyota’s headquarters, and they employ around 3,200 people: 1,700 in Shimoyama and 1,500 in Myochi. The former produces engines and hydrogen tanks for fuel cell vehicles. The latter deals with resin components and cast and machined powertrain parts.

With the help of Prime Planet Energy & Solutions – Toyota’s joint venture with Panasonic – these two factories will also make cells when the upgrade process is ready. With that, the workers in these factories will also deal with batteries and will be ready to produce them when Toyota decides it is the right time to sell electric cars in high volume. As hybrid plants, Toyota believes they will prepare a smooth path for the company’s EV transition.

Editor's note: The gallery contains images of the LQ concept car, powered by solid-state batteries.

 
 
 
 
 

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