With demand for all-electric vehicles trailing expectations as of late, Ford and its joint-venture partner SK On are both scaling back their respective planned investments in electrification – at least over the short term. For Ford, that means building two EV battery plants at the under-construction BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky – but only using one of them for now, which also means that it will hire 2,500 workers rather than the 5,000 it originally planned to. In the meantime, Toyota is also working on its own EV battery plant in North Carolina – one that it’s sinking $8 billion into – and it will also build a future three-row electric vehicle in Kentucky, to boot. Now, rather than dialing back that investment, Toyota is doubling down on its future Kentucky EV site, the automaker has announced.
The Japanese automaker has announced that it will invest another $1.3 billion in its flagship Toyota Kentucky site, bringing the plant’s total investment up to nearly $10 billion. Along with supporting production of the aforementioned future EV model, this money will also be used to add a battery pack assembly line to the facility, with batteries being supplied by Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina.
“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to vehicle electrification and further reinvesting in our U.S. operations,” said Kerry Creech, president of Toyota Kentucky. “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.”
“You cannot think of the Bluegrass region and Scott County without thinking of Toyota,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “We are grateful that they continue to invest in our commonwealth and continue to set a standard for high-quality, well-paying jobs for our citizens. Thank you, Toyota for yet another $1 billion-plus investment coming to Kentucky.”