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Toyota will build its first US battery plant in North Carolina

Toyota Motor will build its first battery factory in the U.S. in North Carolina, the company and state officials confirmed Monday, as more automakers seek to take control of the supply chain with in-house battery manufacturing plants.

Toyota will invest $1.29 billion in the plant, which will be called Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC), with production anticipated to commence in 2025. That investment is part of a wider pledge to invest $3.4 billion in automotive batteries in the U.S. through 2030.

Once operational, TBMNC will have four production lines, each capable of manufacturing batteries for around 200,000 electric and hybrid vehicles. Toyota’s aim is to expand the factory to at least six production lines, which would produce enough batteries for 1.2 million vehicles per year. The new factory will create around 1,750 new jobs and will use 100% renewable energy to make the batteries, Toyota said.

The news comes as Congress mulls a revision to the consumer tax credit for electric vehicles, which currently stands at around $7,500 for OEMs that have sold fewer than 200,000 electric vehicles. A group of Democrats have proposed adding an additional $500 if the vehicle’s battery was made in the U.S., and another $4,500 on top of that for EVs produced in the U.S. by unionized plants.

Toyota has been squarely against the tax credit revision, calling it “blatantly biased” in a letter to legislators. The bill has received support from the big three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — as well as the United Auto Workers.

Toyota is just the latest major automaker to announce a battery manufacturing plant, part of a push to stay ahead of potential supply chain squeezes from raw materials or key battery components. As Rebecca Bellan wrote for TechCrunch+, partnerships and joint ventures with battery suppliers — like GM’s joint venture with LG Chem, dubbed Ultium, or Ford Motor’s agreement with SK Innovation — show that OEMs are realizing they need to take control of the supply.

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