North Carolina’s largest economic development commitment will help power our electric mobility future
- August 11, 2023
- Posted by: Jacob Rigg
- Category: Blog
RTA members and partners,
As we think of innovation, electrification, and other ways of getting us around faster and better — for everyone, and our planet — it is hard not to be excited about the ongoing construction and expansion of the Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC) plant in Liberty, just off US 421 (Future I-685, the Carolina Core freeway; see prior RTA blog).
From the initial $1.3 investment announcement in late 2021, to the follow-up $2.5 billion expansion announcement a year ago this month, to yet another announcement this summer of an additional $2.1 billion in investment at TBMNC (the latter investment for batteries for future three row SUVs at a Toyota plant in Kentucky), the North Carolina plant will be a game changer for our extended region, state, and likely the world in the transition to electrically-powered transportation. Total investment at TBMNC will be nearly $6 billion, which will make the largest economic development project commitment in North Carolina history.
Of course, it is not just the size of the investment that matters, but the impact.
This summer, Toyota noted that they expect to have a solid state battery within the next five years that will cut charging time down to 10 minutes or less for an expected range of around 750 miles, with future goals of even higher (900+ mile) distances before recharging. This level of battery performance would be remarkable and would effectively eliminate any “range anxiety” concerns.
The company reports that they have put more than 23 million hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell electric and battery electric vehicles on the road across the globe, exceeding the combined total of all other automakers.
Toyota also said it was also working on innovating lithium-ion batteries, the battery type now in most EVs, and wants to work on models powered by hydrogen, including fuel cell vehicles.
RTA is excited to see global leaders companies like Toyota — who are making increasingly deep investments in North Carolina — take strides to push the current limits of transportation and mobility and dedicate to creating a safer, more sustainable future for everyone.
Let’s get moving.
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA executive director
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation