Toyota building 20 GWh US battery factory with LG to land federal tax credits for its American EVs
After finally coming around on electric cars, forced by the breakneck rollout of government incentives, Toyota is wasting no time in developing true EV platforms and building out battery plants. Its new CEO Koji Sato - a former head of the premium Lexus brand - recently expanded Toyota's electrification strategy to 10 new vehicles and 1.5 million units produced annually by 2026.
That is an enormous undertaking that will require big investment in battery cells, and Toyota has chosen Tesla's supplier LG for the task. LG Energy will reportedly be partnering over dedicated 20 GWh battery plant in the US so that the future Toyota or Lexus electric cars sold here can take advantage of the government's new EV tax credit scheme that will run until 2032.
The new Toyota battery factory in the US would cost north of US$2 billion, just as LG's joint venture with Honda over pouch batteries. Toyota, however, has expressed preference for cylindrical cells like the 4680 style battery that LG is said to be ahead of another Tesla supplier - Panasonic - in developing.
As to what Toyota electric vehicles on the new platform will be destined for the US market, there is a confirmation for a big 3-row SUV built in America. Moreover, Toyota recently demonstrated its first electric pickup concept, the Hilux Revo BEV, too. Toyota's "multi-pathway approach" to electrification of its portfolio includes localizing models for the peculiarities of every market, so the electric Hilux Revo could very well make its way stateside.
Famed automotive industry analyst Sandy Munroe is on record saying that the "elephant" Toyota shouldn't be underestimated when the company truly invests itself in achieving a goal. He mentioned that he's witnessed Toyota "turn the big boat around" and conquer a market it previously had no experience in quite often. According to him, Toyota can "crush you like a bug" in the process, catching up to current leaders in the field like Tesla.
Recently, Toyota engineers took apart a Model Y and came away impressed, complimenting the assembly efficiency and lack of redundant components, so it seems that Toyota has already picked an EV role model to aspire to and try to beat.
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