Recent reporting from Elektrek spotlights both Toyota’s recent waffling on the profitability of EVs, and the company’s even more recent announcements regarding a multi-billion-dollar investment in battery production.
Toyota will invest $2.5 billion into its North Carolina plant, tripling its funding. That plant should be operational by 2025, and will produce batteries both for all-electric and hybrid vehicles.
This investment bump was likely prompted by the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides a tax credit for EV purchases in the US, but only for those vehicles whose automakers “source materials from US free trade partners and complete final assembly in North America.”
Toyota’s investment in its American plant was followed by the announcement that it is also funneling money to convert two of its Japanese engine plants into battery plants.
Automotive News Europe notes that these are signs that Toyota’s plan is to use “existing plants and workers and try to manage a controlled evolution” in order to respond to supply chain issues and industry upheaval. They further report that Toyota’s overall strategy is to sell 3.5 million EVs per year across both the Toyota and Lexus brands.
Speaking of Lexus, that sub-company will become electric-only in the U.S., Europe, and China by 2030, by which point it plans to sell 1 million EVs per year, and be all-electric worldwide by 2035.