The Toyota Battery Plant that North Carolina is working on will have six production lines, each capable of delivering 200,000 lithium-ion batteries for both hybrid and electric vehicles.
Currently under construction, the battery plan should become operational in the first quarter of 2025.
Two of the production lines will support battery production for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), while the other four will support Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) battery needs.
Since each production line can deliver 200,000 batteries per year, the North Carolina plant will be capable of delivering 1.2 million lithium-ion batteries annually.
The Liberty, North Carolina facility will hire 2,100 employees and drive economic growth in the state.
In 2021, Toyota announced it was investing $1.29 billion in the battery plant currently under construction. This August, the company said it was investing an additional $2.5 billion in the project, which increased the plant’s total production capacity and created jobs for the aforementioned 2,100 employees.
According to Srini Matam, the Toyota group vice president of Powertrain and Shared Services, Production Engineering, the plant will start making hybrid vehicle batteries in the first quarter of 2025, then add all-electric batteries to the queue towards the end of the same year.
However, there are still many hurdles facing Toyota’s BEV and HEV strategy development.
During a dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda stated that the charging infrastructure required to support BEVs is not fully in place, while the supply chain for delivering materials necessary to build the car batteries is still in development.
The pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and brought several industries to a grinding halt.
The automotive industry suffered heavily due to supply chain disruptions and other macroeconomic conditions that worsened in the years that followed.
While hurdles standing in the way of BEVs only partially disrupt HEV plans, it will take some more years before there is a fully-functioning infrastructure that can support electric vehicles optimally.
That is why, for now, Toyota expects most consumers to still lean towards conventional internal-combustion engines and hybrids for the time being.
“We’ve got to react to the market,” Matam said, and added that “there will be a migration to electric vehicles but it will take several years to compete.”
By the time the North Carolina plant becomes operational, this shift is not likely to occur unless the government incentivizes all-electric vehicles seeing as BEVs currently have the slowest adoption rate among new technologies in the last 120 years.