While Toyota helped lead the hybrid charge with its Prius, the company has been less active in EV production. But that might be in the past, as Toyota has announced another $1.3 billion for its Kentucky facility, with a focus on EVs. In particular, the company is building a new three-row electric SUV that will be available for US customers.
Toyota’s Kentucky operation is its flagship facility, with nearly 9,400 employees. “Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to vehicle electrification and further reinvesting in our US operations,” Kerry Creech, president of Toyota Kentucky, said in a release. “Generations of our team members helped prepare for this opportunity, and we will continue leading the charge into the future by remaining true to who we are as a company and putting our people first for generations to come.”
Little is known so far about the three-row electric SUV, as Toyota only mentions it briefly in relation to the investment. However, it follows the company’s prior announcement of its Urban SUV concept slated to launch in Europe this year.
The $1.3 billion investment will also go towards creating a battery pack assembly line at its Kentucky factory (a separate manufacturing plant in North Carolina produces the batteries). Toyota has big plans for its battery production, previously announcing three battery ranges focused on higher performance and low cost slated for 2026 and onward. The company is also working on its first solid-state batteries, which have the potential to charge an EV from 10 to 80 percent in 10 minutes. Toyota’s bZ4X EV currently takes 32 minutes to do so.