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Does Toyota’s plan to convert an engine plant into a battery plant signal a stronger EV shift?

Earlier this week, Toyota announced a $5.6 billion investment plan to produce batteries for all-electric vehicles in Japan and the US.

That includes a $2.5 billion expansion of a battery factory in North Carolina that is almost under construction, extra capacity for EV batteries and could very well suggest a future commitment to American-built electric vehicles.

While earlier in the week, Toyota only named “Toyota plant and property”, as part of an initial investment for the Japanese side, a report from Automotive News more details. It shows that Toyota really sees EVs as a profound and lasting change.

Toyota electric car line plan

Toyota electric car line plan

Toyota has said that they have a plan 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2030, but it holds its card close to what kind of sales volume means. In the United States, where its only battery-powered electric vehicle is the BZ4X crossover, it is expected that 85% of vehicles By the end of the decade there will still be an engine under the hood.

Based on ONEThe company’s Shimoyama engine plant and Myochi powertrain plant will be upgraded to produce batteries, with that production managed by Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Toyota’s joint venture with Panasonic.

Instead of building new joint venture factories, as GM is doing in Joint Venture Ultium Cells LLC With LG, Toyota is following an ultimately more stable approach to the workforce.

Toyota Cruiser EV

Toyota Cruiser EV

The report also summarizes that through May, Toyota’s global electric vehicle capacity was only 6 gigawatt hours — and that includes hybrids. However, Toyota currently has a plan for 280 gigawatt hours by the end of the decade, and with this global EV battery capacity expansion, Toyota will have access to 46 gigawatt hours once the upgrade is complete.

Toyota’s approach in Japan sounds similar to what Volkswagen is doing back home in Germany. VW is repositioning its Salzgitter engine plant to produce pilot batteries and battery operations, while it builds a PowerCo 40 gigawatt-hour battery factory with more work than the original factory. That’s just one of at least six VW plants in Europe and a total capacity of 240 gigawatt hours by 2030, so it’s on another level of commitment to electric vehicles.

While Toyota’s commitment is still only a small part of that, the move from the engine plant to the battery plant also suggests that the Japanese automaker will begin to move faster with the growth of the industry.

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