Toyota Battery Manufacturing North America will have four production lines, each reportedly capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles.
December 7, 2021
RALEIGH, N.C.—Toyota Motor North America is planning to build a $1.29 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery production facility in North Carolina at the 1,825-acre Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, according to a release from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). The new venture company will be known as Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC), and will be led by a new venture between Toyota and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the trading arm of the Toyota Group.
The site is reported to offer a combination of “strategic location, world-class workforce, and unparalleled transportation infrastructure.”
North Carolina’s assets make it an attractive location for companies entering and operating in the EV ecosystem, EDPNC said in the release. The state is home to the global headquarters of several prominent lithium companies, including the largest provider of lithium to the EV battery industry. North Carolina is also reported to have the largest known hard rock lithium (spodumene) deposit in the U.S., and “the highest concentration of advanced lithium processing experts outside of China.”
“It’s tremendous that Toyota has selected North Carolina for such an important part of its electric vehicle future, creating good paying jobs and moving us toward a healthier environment,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, in a statement. “It’s clear the world is beginning to embrace a clean energy future, and today’s decision puts North Carolina front and center.”
With EV sales in the world’s major car markets projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 22 percent per year until 2030, North Carolina is said to be well-positioned to contribute to the adoption of—and benefit from the demand for—electric vehicles. The state is reported to have “the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast,” and more than 29,000 students earn STEM degrees annually from higher education institutions across the state, according to the release.
North Carolina is also home to more than 260 automotive suppliers and manufacturers. Both Thomas Built Buses and Arrival, for example, are already manufacturing EVs in the state.
“We couldn’t think of a better location for this new battery plant than North Carolina,” said Chris Reynolds, executive vice president, corporate resources, Toyota Motor North America, in a statement. “We chose North Carolina for several reasons, including its extensive and well-maintained infrastructure, four international airports and two seaports, its consistent ranking as one of the top states to do business, its world-class education system and, importantly, its outstanding and diverse workforce.”
The TBMNC plant will come online in 2025 and will have four production lines, each capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles. Toyota Battery Manufacturing North America can expand to at least six production lines for a combined total of up to 1.2 million vehicles per year. The company said it will create 1,750 new jobs, including positions in engineering, materials science, quality control, and operations and manufacturing, with an average salary of $62,234.
“Toyota’s announcement is recognition of the central role that North Carolina is poised to play in the global shift toward electric vehicles, and marks an important milestone in the state’s commitment to growing the clean energy economy,” said Christopher Chung, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, in a statement. “The North Carolina team has had ongoing conversations with Toyota since they first reviewed the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite several years ago, and this longstanding relationship, coupled with a business-friendly environment and a history of automotive engineering excellence, were instrumental in the state’s election for this transformative project that will have lasting community and economic impact on our state.”