Toyota Motor North America announced plans to build a $1.29 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery production facility at the 1,825-acre Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, a KPMG-certified, shovel-ready site featuring the ideal combination of strategic location, world-class workforce and unparalleled transportation infrastructure. North Carolina is home to the global headquarters of several top lithium companies including the world’s largest provider of lithium to the EV battery industry, the largest known hard rock lithium (spodumene) deposit in the U.S., and the highest concentration of advanced lithium processing experts outside of China, making it the ideal location for companies entering and operating in the EV ecosystem.
“It’s tremendous that Toyota has selected North Carolina for such an important part of its electric vehicle future, creating good paying jobs and moving us toward a healthier environment,” Governor Cooper said. “It’s clear the world is beginning to embrace a clean energy future and today’s decision puts North Carolina front and center.”
In addition to Thomas Built Buses and Arrival who are already manufacturing EVs in the state, North Carolina is home to more than 260 automotive suppliers and manufacturers. With EV sales in the world’s major car markets projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 22 percent per year until 2030, the state is uniquely positioned to contribute to the adoption of, and benefit from the demand for EVs.
The selection of North Carolina and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite followed multiple in-person and virtual site visits by Toyota, one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. The new venture company will be known as Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC), and will be led by a new venture between Toyota and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the trading arm of the Toyota Group.
“We couldn’t think of a better location for this new battery plant than North Carolina,” said Chris Reynolds, Executive Vice President, Corporate Resources, Toyota Motor North America. “We chose North Carolina for several reasons, including its extensive and well-maintained infrastructure, four international airports and two seaports, its consistent ranking as one of the top states to do business, its world-class education system and, importantly, its outstanding and diverse workforce.”
North Carolina hosts the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast, and more than 29,000 students earn STEM degrees annually from elite higher education institutions located across the state. The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite features a railway siding, convenient access to Interstate 85 via an interstate quality highway and ready access to international airports. The state has the lowest corporate tax rate in the country and a successful track record tailoring community college curricula to cater to the needs of local businesses, especially large employers.
The plant will come online in 2025, and have four production lines, each capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles —with the intention to expand to at least six production lines for a combined total of up to 1.2 million vehicles per year It will create 1,750 new jobs including in engineering, materials science, quality control, and operations and manufacturing with an average salary of $62,234 , which is more than 64 percent higher than the overall annual wage in Randolph County, N.C.
“Toyota’s announcement is recognition of the central role that North Carolina is poised to play in the global shift toward electric vehicles, and marks an important milestone in the state’s commitment to growing the clean energy economy,” said Christopher Chung, Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “The North Carolina team has had ongoing conversations with Toyota since they first reviewed the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite several years ago, and this longstanding relationship, coupled with a business-friendly environment and a history of automotive engineering excellence were instrumental in the state’s election for this transformative project that will have lasting community and economic impact on our state.”
Toyota’s arrival in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a transformative Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). The project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by at least $9.5 billion over 20 years. Like all grants from the JDIG program, any state payments only occur following performance verification each year by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. Toyota could be eligible under the transformative category if a commitment to more jobs is broadened.
“Toyota’s decision to build a facility at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite validates the strength of this region’s labor force, infrastructure and our ability to build regional partnerships to get things done,” said Brent Christensen, President & CEO of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. “This is an exciting time for our region.”
Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Piedmont Triad Partnership, North Carolina Railroad Company and Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation.