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Toyota will set up a $ 1.3 billion battery factory near Greensboro, North Carolina

Toyota says it plans to set up a $ 1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Greensboro, North Carolina, that will employ at least 1,750 workers.

RALEIGH, NC (AP) - Toyota announced on Monday that it plans to set up a $ 1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Greensboro, North Carolina, that will employ at least 1,750 workers and help meet the growing car giant's goals of selling electric vehicles this decade. .

Joint company leaders Gov. Roy Cooper and elected officials and other economic development gathered to unveil the project on hundreds of acres at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite in Liberty, about 70 miles (113 km) west of the rally.

Initially, Toyota will receive or may receive well over $ 430 million in cash incentives, tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades from the State of North Carolina and local governments if it meets job creation and investment goals, according to officials and documents.

The Japanese automaker has said the plant will start producing batteries in 2025.

The announcement marks a tremendous achievement for the Greensborough region's economy, which is still looking for alternative jobs after the region's generational textile industry shrank in the 90s and 2000s.

Local leaders have worked for several years to land such a large company on the site. North Carolina lost to Alabama over a joint venture to manufacture Toyota-Mazda vehicles about four years ago.

Good things come to those who wait, ”Cooper said during the announcement at the proposed site, saying the production will help North Carolina meet its target as a clean energy leader.

The plant is part of a $ 3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the U.S. on car batteries over the next decade. He did not specify where the remaining $ 2.1 billion would be invested, but some of that would likely go to another battery plant.

Toyota will form a new company that will operate the new plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that now manufactures an array of parts for the automaker. The company will also help Toyota expand its supply chain in the U.S., as well as increase its knowledge of lithium-ion batteries, Toyota said.

The site near Greensboro is relatively close to many of Toyota's existing U.S. railroad plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Texas. The company has not yet announced where it will build fully electric vehicles for sale in the US.

"North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including infrastructure, a high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled workforce and a welcoming business environment," said Toyota Motor North America CEO Ted Ogawa in a press release.

The jobs, which are expected to be created by 2029, will have an average salary of more than $ 62,000, according to economic development sources.

The company could receive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional incentives if the company agrees to a second phase of the project - one in which Toyota will invest $ 3 billion in investment and create more than 3,800 jobs in total.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to sell 2 million electric vehicles with hydrogen and zero-emission batteries by 2030. In the U.S., the company plans to sell 1.5 million to 1.8 million vehicles by 2030 that are at least partially electrified.

Currently, Toyota offers hydrogen vehicles, hybrids and rechargeable hybrid propulsion systems in the US, but there are no battery-powered vehicles. This has drawn criticism from environmental groups who accuse the company of dragging its feet on the technology. Toyota claims to have 15 electric vehicles in batteries for sale worldwide by 2025.

Toyota claims that vehicles that run at least partially on electricity now account for about a quarter of its sales in the U.S., and it plans to increase to nearly 70% by 2030.

Monday's announcement comes as automakers are pleased to build battery plants in North America to meet what is expected to exponentially increase demand for electric vehicles as the world moves away from internal combustion engines.

Stellantis, a former Fiat Chrysler, said it would build two battery plants in North America. Ford has announced three plants in Kentucky and Tennessee, and General Motors has announced it will build four battery cell plants. Only two of these places have been declared, in Ohio and Tennessee.

Consulting firm LMC Automotive expects U.S. sales of new full-length electric vehicles to reach nearly 400,000 this year, nearly double last year's figures. But they still make up only about 2.6% of sales. But the company expects sales to grow to more than 730,000 next year and more than 2 million by 2025. Even at 2 million, EV sales will still be only about 12% of new car sales in the US.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden received a commitment from the automotive industry to produce electric vehicles for up to half of U.S. new car sales by 2030.

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