Toyota Motor North America has announced its intention to invest $50 million in the construction of a new battery lab in the United States, signaling the company’s commitment to accelerating its electric vehicle (EV) strategy. The move comes as Toyota aims to catch up in the race to bring EVs to the market, following a series of recent announcements aimed at boosting EV production.
Under the leadership of Koji Sato, who took over as CEO from Akio Toyoda in April, Toyota has outlined an ambitious vision for the future. Sato, who replaced the company’s outspoken EV critic, has expressed a renewed focus on EV development, stating, “Now that the time is right, we will accelerate BEV development with a new approach.”
As part of its plans, Toyota aims to introduce 10 new fully electric models by 2026, with a target of achieving 1.5 million EV sales annually. Last month, Sato confirmed rumors that Toyota would establish its own dedicated EV platform, slated for launch in 2026. The company claims that this new architecture will enable future models to double their range through the use of more efficient batteries.
In addition to the dedicated EV platform, Toyota has also established a “BEV Factory” dedicated to the development of next-generation BEVs. The company believes that this approach will leverage its expertise as a carmaker to create innovative electric vehicles.
To support its ramped-up EV production plans, Toyota is now preparing to construct a battery factory at its North American Research and Development headquarters in York, Michigan. This strategic location places the facility in close proximity to the home bases of Ford and GM.
The new battery lab will serve as a crucial evaluation center for batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles in North America. Toyota emphasizes that the facility’s primary objective is to ensure that its batteries meet the performance, quality, and durability requirements of North American consumers.
Shinichi Yasui, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor North America’s Research and Development, stated that the investment in the new battery lab demonstrates the company’s shift toward electrification. He further explained that the lab’s evaluation capabilities will enhance Toyota’s ability to serve the needs of its manufacturing facilities, including the battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina and the Kentucky manufacturing plant.
Toyota has also revealed that its first US-assembled EV, a three-row SUV, will roll off the production line at the Toyota Kentucky facility, the company’s largest manufacturing plant globally. The highly anticipated electric SUV is expected to be available for consumers in 2025.
With these developments, Toyota is solidifying its commitment to electric mobility and positioning itself to compete in the rapidly expanding EV market. The establishment of the battery lab underscores the company’s dedication to meeting the evolving demands of North American consumers and ensuring the success of its EV rollout in the years to come.
Image credit: https://electrek.co/