Toyota (TM) announces plans to invest an additional $8 billion in its electric vehicle battery plant in the U.S. Yahoo Finance Senior Autos Reporter Pras Subramanian breaks down Toyota’s investment to date in its North Carolina plant – which currently totals $13.9 billion – and how other automakers are positioning themselves to expand electric vehicle production.
For more expert insights and the latest market activity, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.
DIANE KING HALL: We have big news from Toyota today. The automaker announced it would increase its investment in battery manufacturing in the United States. Of course, this now comes after the company’s chairman and former CEO Akio Toyoda said, quote, “People are finally waking up to the reality that electric vehicle adoption is going to be an uphill battle.” Here with the details of Toyota’s new investment is Pras Subramanian, senior auto reporter for Yahoo Finance. Pras?
PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hello, Diane. Yeah, so you know you mentioned former CEO and current chairman Akio Toyoda, who was once a skeptic, now we’re seeing a bit of a turnaround here as Toyota is doubling down on electric vehicle activity, at least in the US. The automaker announced a nearly $8 billion expansion of its electric vehicle investments at its battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina. This investment will create approximately 3,000 new jobs at this future factory.
Toyota says the total spending there from the new investment is about $13.9 billion and there are now a total of 5,000 jobs. The new factory will produce batteries for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. And that was after the automaker had, as you said, shown some ambivalence about fully electric vehicles.
Akio Toyoda once claimed that the media are the ones who want electric vehicles and that it would take time for electric vehicles to become mainstream. Toyoda didn’t miss this and would resign, with former Lexus boss Koji Sato taking over. Sato is considered more of an EV realist and the board agreed.
This is happening now as we see GM and Ford pushing back some of those investments. Toyota is making some big investments now, but it can be said that Toyota has been somewhat behind in catching up in electric vehicles. And in 2025, since that is the launch date for this plant, it appears that at that point electric vehicles may be a little more mainstream, or at least the tide will turn, which has been slowly happening over the past few years.
BRAD SMITH: Pras, this is huge here as we continue to see some reactions here with cars. Pras, thanks for breaking this down for us. Really appreciate it.