Does Toyota’s new battery factory mean a new U.S. assembly plant?

Toyota plans to “continue our pattern of what we sell here, we build here,” Reynolds confirmed. Any change, he said, “is not so much in evolution as it is a recognition that with particularly the Biden administration’s support of [charging] infrastructure and the overall emphasis on carbon reduction, that we anticipate our customers are going to want … what we now call alternative-powertrain vehicles, and which by 2030 or so will actually be the norm as we shift” from internal combustion to electrified propulsion.

In April, Toyota introduced the bZ4X, a compact EV crossover concept that it said would go on sale in the U.S. next year. A Lexus version, the LF-Z, is also in the works and due in dealerships in late 2022, as is a similar-sized crossover that Toyota will build for partner Subaru called the Solterra, which also is scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2022.

Toyota, which pioneered hybrid technology in the 1990s with the Prius, has focused on a decarbonization strategy that relies primarily on expanding its stable of hybrids and plug-in hybrids by 2025. In addition, the automaker said it plans to produce 15 EV models globally, including seven Toyota bZ models.

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