Toyota to convert engine factories to battery factories in latest EV push


Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda has been a prominent voice in advocating for job protection while navigating change. As president of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Toyoda often cites the 5.5 million workers who form the backbone of the local auto industry, which supports seven major automakers: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Suzuki.

“We need medium to long-term stable jobs and the creation of a society where everyone can have hope and confidence for the future,” Toyoda said at a recent JAMA event.

Toyota’s Shimoyama plant employed 1,700 people in 2011, the most recent figures available, and manufactures engines and tanks for fuel cell vehicles.

About 1,500 people worked at Myochi. Plant manufactures cast and machined powertrain parts and resin components

Toyota’s announcement this week that it will invest a total of 730 billion yen ($5.6 billion) in increasing battery capacity worldwide boosts its global capacity by 40 gigawatt hours for electric vehicles pure. That’s up from just 6 gigawatt hours in May, a figure that included hybrid batteries.

Toyota says the latest addition gives the company a total of 46 gigawatt hours on its way to building a global battery network that can deliver 280 gigawatt hours in 2030.

The most recent investment includes spending to expand capacity to a new battery factory in north carolina and two other battery factories in Japan, one in Himeji, the other in Kosai.

Toyota’s multi-billion dollar investment bolsters its strategy to sell 3.5 million electric vehicles a year by 2030 across the Toyota and Lexus brands.

Lexus will transform into an electric-only brand in Europe, the United States and China in 2030, when it expects to be ready to sell 1 million electric vehicles a year.

Thereafter, Lexus will only offer fully electric vehicles globally by 2035.

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