Toyota to Build New Electric SUV in the US

Company investing another $1.3B in Kentucky plant for that purpose
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2024 12:34 PM CST
Toyota to Build New Electric SUV in the US
A car drives past the entrance to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, file)

Toyota says it will invest $1.3 billion at its huge factory in Georgetown, Kentucky, in part so it can build a new electric SUV to be sold in the US. The money will help with electric vehicle production, including the addition of a line to assemble battery cells into packs for other EVs, but it's not expected to add any new jobs to the complex, which now employs nearly 9,400 workers. The investment brings to nearly $10 billion the amount of money that Toyota has spent at the plant, per the AP.

Toyota wouldn't give further details about the three-row SUV, including its price or when it would arrive in showrooms. In October Toyota said it would invest another $8 billion at a hybrid and electric vehicle battery factory it's building in North Carolina, more than doubling previous investments and the expected number of new jobs. The company now expects the plant to employ more than 5,000 people when it begins operations near Greensboro in 2025. Toyota has put about $13.9 billion into that plant, a key supplier for the Kentucky factory, which will build the company's first US-made electric vehicles.

Environmental groups have long criticized Toyota for being slow to move toward fully electric vehicles, instead clinging to gas-electric hybrid technology. The company has a goal of selling 1.5 million to 1.8 million electric or hybrid vehicles in the US by 2030. (More Toyota stories.)

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