Toyota Motor has announced plans to invest an additional US$8bn in the electric vehicle (EV) battery plant it is currently building in Liberty in the US state of North Carolina.

The investment boost comes as the Japanese automaker steps up its transition to zero emission vehicles in North America. The new sum is in addition to the increased investment the company announced in June of this year.

The additional funds will increase the company’s total investment in Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC) to US$13.9bn, also increasing the company’s planned workforce from 2,000 to 5,000 people. Production at the plant is scheduled to begin in 2025.

Toyota said the additional investment will increase capacity to support its planned battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) production in the region. An additional eight battery production lines will be added to the two previously announced, for a total of ten BEV and PHEV battery production lines. The plant will also have four lines dedicated to the production of batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), as was originally announced. 

Production capacity will be increased in phases, with line launches planned through to 2030 to reach a total annual production capacity of over 30 gigawatt hours (GWh). The facility will have seven million square feet of battery production.

Sean Suggs, president of Toyota North Carolina, said in a statement: “Today’s announcement reinforces Toyota’s commitment to electrification and carbon reduction, bringing jobs and future economic growth to the region. The new investment solidifies North Carolina’s position as the company’s epicentre of lithium-ion battery production in North America”.

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Toyota said it plans to have an electrified option available for every Toyota and Lexus model sold globally by 2025. It also plans to have 15 BEV models on sale globally within two years.