Toyota Motor plans to construct a full scale electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in the US in conjunction with supplier Panasonic, according reports in Japan citing ‘people close to the matter’.

The automaker was said to be planning to spend billions of dollars on a factory near Greensboro, North Carolina, to boost production of EVs in North America over the next decade.

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The reports suggested a final decision on the battery plant’s location was yet to be made and that the plan might “still evolve”.

The automaker was expected to funnel the funding through its majority owned Prime Planet Energy & Solutions battery joint venture with Panasonic although the individual shares of the overall investment and equity had not yet been decided and no formal commitment had been made by any potential partner.

In October Toyota pledged to spend US$3.4bn on EV battery production in the US in the current decade, as part of a larger US$13bn global EV battery production plan.

Several major EV battery factories had already been announced for the US this year, mostly by South Korean suppliers LG Energy Solution, SK On and Samsung SDI, mainly to supply Ford, GM and Stellantis.

Panasonic was already a key battery supplier to Tesla.

Prime Planet, 51% owned by Toyota and 49% by Panasonic, was said to control around 25% of the world market for hybrid vehicle batteries and now wants to expand into EV batteries.

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