Toyota to invest .4 billion on U.S. automotive batteries through 2030

The Toyota logo is seen at a booth during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China, April 19, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T) North American unit said Monday it will invest about $3.4 billion (380 billion yen) on U.S. automotive battery development and production in the United States through 2030.

The world’s largest automaker by volume also said it plans to establish a new company and build a new U.S. automotive battery plant together with Toyota Tsusho (8015.T), the automaker’s metals trading arm and a unit of the Toyota Group.

The new plant, which includes a planned $1.29 billion Toyota investment through 2031, aims to start production in 2025 and is expected to create 1,750 new U.S. jobs.

The funds are part of the $13.5 billion it announced in September it planned to spend globally by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system. The largest Japanese automaker said in September it aimed to slash costs of its batteries by 30% or more by working on materials used and the way the cells are structured.

Toyota said the new company will initially focus on producing batteries for hybrid vehicles. Toyota said it will later disclose production capacity, the new company’s business structure and the plant site.

Toyota North America CEO Ted Ogawa said in a statement the investment “will help usher in more affordable electrified vehicles for U.S. consumers.”

Automakers around the world are investing billions of dollars to ramp up battery and electric vehicle production as they face increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

Toyota has mounted a lobbying campaign to try to convince U.S. lawmakers not to include an additional $4,500 tax incentive for union-made electric vehicles.

In August, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order setting a target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles.

Detroit’s Big Three automakers said in August they aspire “to achieve sales of 40-50% of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles… by 2030.”

Toyota said last month it “unreservedly signed up to meet the challenge of making half of the vehicles we sell electric” by 2030.

Biden’s 50% goal and the automakers’ 2030 goals includes battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles that also have a gasoline-engine.

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Diane Craft

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

By Tara