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Toyota to Expand In-house EV Battery Assembly in Japan and U.S.

Toyota's Strategy Aims for Cost-Efficiency in EV Battery Production Across Key Plants
Japan
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Toyota Motor is set to enhance its electric vehicle (EV) production capabilities by starting the final assembly of EV batteries at three additional plants in Japan and the U.S. This strategic move is aimed at internalizing more of the production process to mitigate costs related to transporting heavy battery packs.

The Takaoka plant near Nagoya is scheduled to begin assembly between spring and fall 2025, followed by the Miyata plant in western Japan in the subsequent winter, and the Kentucky factory as early as spring 2026. These facilities will focus on the final stage of battery production, assembling modules of cells into complete battery packs for installation into EVs. Currently, Toyota conducts battery pack assembly exclusively at its Motomachi plant in Japan, the production site for the bZ4X, its first mass-market EV.

This expansion is part of Toyota’s broader plan to potentially extend final battery assembly operations to more plants. However, investment specifics and planned outputs are still under evaluation.

The new assembly sites are strategically chosen, with all three plants expected to commence EV production by the time battery assembly operations are operational. The rationale behind this decision lies in the logistical and economic benefits. EV battery packs, weighing approximately 400 kilograms, are more efficiently and cost-effectively assembled on-site than shipped as finished products from suppliers. Additionally, vehicle assembly plants possess the required expertise to optimize the positioning and wiring of battery packs for diverse models.

Toyota, already experienced in assembling batteries for hybrids and plug-in hybrids, faces the challenge of accommodating the larger size and space requirements of EV batteries. The company is actively working on efficient space utilization at its facilities to address this issue, in line with its accelerated EV production plans. This includes informing key suppliers about its intent to ramp up EV production, including for the Lexus brand, targeting approximately 250,000 vehicles in 2024 and 600,000 in 2025. Furthermore, Toyota plans to commence EV battery production at some of its parts factories and a new facility under construction in North Carolina.

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