Toyota aims to start producing EV batteries in North Carolina next year

Credit: Toyota

Toyota is aiming to start producing electric vehicle (EV) batteries next year at its upcoming factory in North Carolina, set to eventually build battery packs for the company’s hybrids, plugin hybrids and EVs.

After increasing its investment into the plant to $13.9 billion total last year, Toyota has continued to make progress on construction at the site since it broke ground in the latter part of 2022.

In an exclusive tour of the facility with Automotive News last week, Sean Suggs, Toyota Battery Manufacturing President at the North Carolina complex, noted that the factory is scheduled to begin production of EV batteries it can sell in the first quarter of next year. The initial batteries will be for a three-row EV slated to be produced at Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.

“Things are progressing really, really nicely,” Suggs said. “We’re in the heat of trial activity as we speak, doing trial activity in our first building. We’ve got about 300 team members that are on-site each day; the rest of them [around 500] are in our headquarters location in Greensboro.”

Suggs also says roughly 1,000 people are awaiting start dates, ahead of the Japanese automaker’s plans to employ 5,100 people total upon planned completion in 2028. The North Carolina plant is also expected to produce 30 GWh of EV batteries per year, across seven buildings featuring two production lines each.

The factory will include 10 production lines total for future battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plugin hybrid battery packs, and four lines dedicated to building battery packs for hybrid vehicles. The battery “cans” and other components will be built at an on-site supplier building dubbed Fuji Springs, while the site will also feature a full-time fire department, three drive-through bays, and several other support structures.

The update comes as Toyota has been criticized by many in EV circles for not committing to full electrification quickly enough. As just one example of the sentiment, Ted Ogawa, Toyota Motor North America CEO, said in March that a full push to EVs could be a “wasted investment.”

The company has also defended itself against being anti-EV, with one executive in the company’s Australian arm earlier this year clarifying why the company still wants to invest in hybrids:

“Toyota’s not anti-EV. We’re actually not. And we want to play in that market. We want to be part of it. We’re excited by it,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia VP of Sales and Marketing, in a statement in February.

“We just don’t see it as the golden bullet or the single golden bullet towards carbon neutrality. The multi-pathway is still our strategy, but we’re excited to be coming into the BEV market. We know it plays a role.”

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Zachary Visconti: Zach is a renewable energy reporter who has been covering electric vehicles since 2020. He grew up in Fremont, California, and he currently resides in Colorado. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, KRON4 San Francisco, FOX31 Denver and many other publications. When he isn't covering Tesla or other EV companies for Teslarati, you can find him writing and performing music, drinking lots of coffee, or hanging out with his cat, Banks. Reach out to Zach at, or you can find him on X @zacharyvisconti.
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