Toyota, the world’s number one car manufacturer, has announced that it will invest 5,3 billion euros in launching its own battery production. The plants will be built in Japan and the US, and production will start between 2024 and 2026.
The investment is partially included in the big investment envelope that Toyota decided on last year: an investment in the development and production of batteries totaling almost €14 billion for the period 2022-2030.
Of this newly announced €5,3 billion investment, 2,9 billion will go to a factory in Himeji (western Japan) and 2,4 billion to the factory in South Carolina, the US, already under construction. Toyota will invest €4 billion in this plant, starting production in 2025.
The White House has already reacted favorably to the announcement and “sees it as a sign that the economic plan of President Biden is the start of a new era of economic competitiveness,” said its economic advisor Brian Deese.
The fact that, according to Biden’s big economic plan, manufacturers are now forced to have a certain amount of local content in their products to get electric cars subsidized apparently is bearing fruit. Many other manufacturers are looking to invest in mining raw materials and/or producing batteries or entire EVs in North America to have easier access to the US market.
Car makers and cell manufacturers worldwide are ramping up battery-plant plans to keep up with demand. As a result, the US is attracting many investments in this area. Panasonic Holdings, for example, the supplier of Tesla, is planning another plant in the US, while Korean battery manufacturers have a slew of plans for facilities in the US. The goal is to construct four for GM, two for Stellantis, and three for Ford.
30 EVs before 2030
Toyota has for a long time been relatively skeptical toward BEVs, especially to see them as the sole solution for more sustainable transport. However, the company recently got a bad report from Greenpeace stating that Toyota is doing too little to avoid climate change and will be one of the main victims of all sorts of climate disasters.
Just now, the Toyota Group has announced that it will launch 30 new models that are 100% electric before 2030, totaling an investment of some €30 billion for the period 2022-2030 into research and development and the production of BEVs.
Nevertheless, Toyota refuses to put all its eggs in the same basket. Instead, it will pursue investing heavily in hybrid and hydrogen technology. “There’s more than one option to obtain carbon neutrality,” a press release explains. “The means to reduce CO2 emissions as much and as quickly as possible vary enormously between countries and regions all over the world.”