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Toyota will construct a $1.29 billion electric car battery facility in North Carolina.
The investment marks the latest move from an established automotive company toward electric vehicles amid shifting regulatory landscapes and consumer preferences.
The New York Times reported:
The plant, which will employ 1,750 people, will be built outside Greensboro and is expected to be complete by 2025 at a cost of $1.29 billion, Toyota said. It will initially have four production lines, each capable of making battery packs for 200,000 cars a year. The automaker, one of the world’s largest, hopes to eventually add two more lines, which would bring production capacity to packs for 1.2 million vehicles…
The plan is the latest signal traditional automakers are now betting that sales of electric vehicles will soar over the next decade and will begin to replace internal-combustion vehicles, which are major sources of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change…
The North Carolina plant is part of a broader plan by Toyota to spend $13 billion to build up battery and electric vehicle production capacity around the world. Until this year, Toyota, which pioneered hybrid cars that are powered by batteries and internal combustion engines, had hesitated to commit large investments to making electric vehicles, betting that sales of E.V.s would be slow to take off.
“The future of mobility is electrification,” Toyota Motor North America chief executive Ted Ogawa said in a statement. “North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including the infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled work force, and a welcoming environment for doing business.”
Indeed, other automakers have already launched electric vehicle operations. According to The New York Times, Ford Motor Company is spending $11.4 billion to build three battery factories, while General Motors — which has a goal of selling only electric cars by 2035 — is building two battery plants.
The Biden administration — as reflected by its policy proposals over the past year — desires to encourage a shift from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles. Last month, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview that the Build Back Better Act contains financial incentives for Americans to purchase electric cars — namely, by expanding the federal electric vehicle tax credit from $7,500 to $12,500.
“The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV,” said Buttigieg, “are often rural residents who have the longest distances to drive, they burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower income. They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”
In a recent interview with The Daily Wire, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) — the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for deliberating taxes and other fiscal policy measures — blasted the electric vehicle credit as a boon for high earners.
“Under this bill, a family making $800,000 per year is eligible for a $12,500 check to buy a luxury electric vehicle with up to a $74,000 price tag,” noted Brady. “That check they’re getting will be paid for by the maid who comes to clean their house. It’s a stunning giveaway to the wealthy.”