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Toyota Set Aside $5.3 Billion For Battery Output Expansion

Toyota announced on Wednesday that it would increase battery production for electric vehicles in Japan and the United States with an investment of up to 730 billion yen ($5.3 billion).

A portion of the funds are part of a massive two-trillion-yen budget declared by the Japanese conglomerate in December for the development and production of auto batteries, according to an AFP spokeswoman.

Automakers are hastening the shift to electric vehicles in response to government pressure to move away from automobiles powered by internal combustion engines, as well as the success of Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Toyota is the world’s top-selling carmaker and has championed hybrid motors and pioneered hydrogen as a fuel of the future.

But until recently it has been slow to embrace battery-powered electric vehicles, seen as a key to reducing carbon emissions.

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“With this investment, Toyota intends to increase its combined battery production capacity in Japan and the United States by up to 40 GWh (Gigawatt Hours),” the company said in a statement.

Toyota said it aims to begin producing cells for battery-powered vehicles in the two countries between 2024 and 2026.

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Around 400 billion yen will be spent in Japan and around 325 billion yen in the United States, said the company, which expects a new battery-making plant in North Carolina to come online in 2025.

The announcement comes after Honda unveiled a joint venture on Monday with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution to invest $4.4 billion in a new US electric car battery plant.

And last month, Japanese electronics giant and Tesla supplier Panasonic announced its own $4 billion investment to build a new battery factory in the United States for electric vehicles.

AFP

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