Toyota has big plans for its electric cars. The company had an early lead with the Prius hybrid, but it has since been overtaken by other automakers in the US market. The company still doesn’t offer any fully electric car in the US today, though there are plans for launching the bZ4X concept soon under the Beyond Zero (bZ) series.
The company announced its plans to invest $3.4 billion into high tech batteries for electric vehicles in the US. The investment will go into building a new plant to manufacture high density batteries that will increase the range of its electric vehicles. Toyota will build a new company to handle the battery production. It will be in partnership with Toyota Tsusho and will result in around 1,750 new jobs, Toyota says, though production won’t begin until 2025. The location of the plant has not yet been announced.
This development is part of the $13.5 billion Toyota earmarked last month for the development and production of batteries around the world. It will be instrumental in achieving the goal of having 70 electric models by 2025 compared to the 55 they have today. That figure will include mild hybrids, through plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles, to fully battery-electric models. 15 models however, are expected to be purely electric.
The automaker projects that nearly 70 percent of its US sales by 2030 will be from electrified vehicles. Therefore, this move is not only wise, but it is also in line with other big automakers such as Ford and General Motors that have already announced plans to invest into research and development of EV technology.