Toyota will triple its planned investment in a U.S. battery production facility to $3.8 billion, the Japanese automaker announced Wednesday.
Toyota previously planned to invest $1.29 billion into the plant, a joint venture with battery maker Panasonic, according to Reuters. The plant is set for construction in Liberty, North Carolina and is scheduled to open in 2025.
Toyota says to move comes as a result of a spike in consumer demand for electric vehicles. The plant will have four production lines devoted to smaller batteries for vehicles like the Toyota Prius and two production lines for larger batteries that power fully-electric vehicles, Norm Bafunno, a senior vice president at Toyota, told Reuters.
North Carolina also informed the company last year that it would reimburse the company for $315 million if its investment crossed the $3 billion threshold, according to Reuters.
Panasonic has entered into similar joint ventures with other major electric vehicle producers in the U.S. The company is building another joint plant with Tesla in Kansas.
Toyota has faced dropping operating profit throughout 2022, taking a large 42% drop in early August. Nevertheless, the company is sticking to its plans to produce 9.7 million vehicles by the end of the year.
The company has cited computer chip supply strains and COVID-19 lockdowns in China as prime causes for the slowdown.
Toyota's executive president of sales, Jack Hollis, has predicted that the slowdown in vehicle purchases will continue for all companies for a while longer.
"We're going to be dealing with this for one more year. I do not believe we're going to see growing dealer stock for one more year. I think we're going to be in a situation, speaking for Toyota and Lexus, where whatever we wholesaled is what we'll retail," Hollis said on Aug. 19, according to Automotive News.