Toyota says it will spend nearly USD 50 million to build a vehicle battery testing laboratory at its North American research centre in Michigan.
The company said Thursday that the lab in York Township south of Ann Arbor will test batteries made for hybrid and electric vehicles at a new factory in North Carolina, as well as from battery suppliers.
No new jobs will be created because Toyota will reassign workers from other areas and provide training as needed.
The company says the lab is expected to begin work in 2025 and could be expanded as more electric vehicles are made.
The lab will do performance, quality and durability testing, as well as testing of charging capabilities.
This new facility also enables us to experiment and pursue new opportunities as technology and business needs advance, Jordan Choby, group vice president of powertrain, said in a statement.
Last month Toyota said it would invest another USD 2.1 billion in the battery factory that's under construction near Greensboro, North Carolina. It brings the total investment in the Randolph County plant to USD 5.9 billion to meet the company's goal of selling 1.8 million electric or hybrid vehicles in the US by 2030. Toyota broke ground on the plant in 2021.
To start, it will supply batteries to Toyota's huge complex in Georgetown, Kentucky, which will build Toyota's first US-made electric vehicle, a new SUV with three rows of seats.
Toyota's new President Koji Sato has promised what he called an aggressive shift on electrification of vehicles including hybrids.
The company has been criticized by environmental groups for falling behind in electric vehicle sales and relying on hybrids, which burn gasoline, for future sales.
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