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Clearing has taken place at the megasite in Liberty. Getting the land leveled properly for buildings is ongoing.  Photo by Toyota

Toyota already expanding its plans

LIBERTY — Last week, Toyota announced an additional investment of $2.5 billion in its newest North American facility, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC) — more than doubling its initial investment. 

 

The investment, announced on Aug. 31, adds capacity to support battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery production and adds 350 jobs, bringing the total employment to approximately 2,100. Scheduled to begin production in 2025, the facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and BEVs.    

 

Batteries for BEV vehicles are larger as they need more capacity to be the single propulsion unit for the whole vehicle. So Toyota needed to make the added investment now to alter equipment and building design changes up front. 

 

Last year, Toyota Motor Corporation announced a global investment of approximately $70 billion for electrification efforts. As part of this aspirational goal, TMC announced a future battery production commitment of up to $5.6 billion, with includes nearly half of that amount for the new North Carolina investment.   

 

“This marks another significant milestone for our company,” said Norm Bafunno, senior vice president, Unit Manufacturing and Engineering at Toyota Motor North America. “This plant will serve a central role in Toyota’s leadership toward a fully electrified future and will help us meet our goal of carbon neutrality in our vehicles and global operations by 2035.”  

 

In 2021, Toyota, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho, announced the new Liberty location with an initial investment of $1.29 billion for battery production and the creation of 1,750 new jobs. With today’s announcement, TBMNC’s total investment is $3.8 billion.  

 

“This is an exciting time for Toyota, the region and the many North Carolinians we will soon employ,” said Sean Suggs, TBMNC president. “This incremental investment reflects our continued commitment to ensuring jobs and future economic growth for the Triad region.”   

 

The Liberty plant is the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America, with the initial estimate that enough battery packs would be produced for 1.2 million electrified vehicles per year. 

 

The plant will make batteries for both battery-electric and hybrid electric vehicles, known as HEVs, such as Toyota’s well-known Prius. 

 

The expansion plans come on the heel of recent news in the industry, including California announcing that it would ban the sale of most gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

 

Toyota North Carolina said that it is seeking motivated individuals to join its leadership team. To view and apply for open positions, visit www.toyota.com/careers. Production and maintenance employee positions will be available in early 2023.  

 

It has also created an email address for any business-es with interest in working for the company, including working security, cleaning the plant, even lawn maintenance. Send inquiries to TBMNC.Potential.Supplier@ toyota.com.