Toyota is stepping up its game in terms of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) to significantly increase the volume in the coming years.
The company announced that it has decided to invest up to 730 billion yen (approximately $5.6 billion) in Japan and the US to increase the production of BEV batteries.
In Japan, Toyota will invest about 400 billion yen (about $3.1 billion) in the Himeji Plant of Prime Planet Energy & Solutions Co., Ltd. (PPES) and in Toyota plants and property.
In the US, approximately 325 billion yen (about $2.5 billion) has been allocated for a new facility - Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC) - in North Carolina.
The combined increase in battery pack output for BEVs is expected to reach up to 40 GWh, which is equivalent to 400,000 vehicles with a 100 kWh battery (over 500,000 at 75 kWh per pack). Production at the new facilities will start between 2024 and 2026.
The Japanese company notes a growing demand for BEVs, but at the same time "believes that there is more than one option for achieving carbon neutrality."
"By utilizing the Toyota Production System and building production lines that are more efficient than ever, Toyota also intends to further strengthen its competitiveness and invest in the training of personnel engaged in battery production and the passing down of monozukuri manufacturing skills."
Let's recall that in 2021, Toyota announced a global investment of approximately 8 trillion JPY ($70 billion as of December 2021) for electrification efforts.
The numbers are pretty encouraging that the Japanese manufacturer is finally switching gears to boost battery-electric car volumes later this decade.
Considering that the company was doing fine with hybrids (so there was no incentive to go all-BEVs, like in the case of the diesel-gate affected Volkswagen Group), the speed of the BEV ramp-up might not be the highest, but sooner or later we will see millions of Toyota electric cars. The new battery investment alone indicates roughly 0.5 million units per year.