A North Carolina town with fewer than 3,000 citizens and known for its antiques festival is about to be on the cutting edge of the electric vehicle revolution. Toyota just announced that it will construct a $1.29 billion battery-building facility in little Liberty, North Carolina.
North Carolina worked hard to snag the Toyota plant, which will eventually employ at least 1,750 people. Liberty is home to the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, a designated area that boasts an available workforce, an east coast location and a well-developed transportation infrastructure. The state of North Carolina enticed Toyota with a $438.7 million tax incentive package.
Toyota doesn’t expect the site to be up and running until 2025. Initially, four production lines will have a total capacity of 800,000 lithium-ion batteries. By 2031, the facility is expected to expand to produce 1.2 million battery packs annually. And the company will need them, as it has pledged that 70% of its cars will be electric by 2030.
The North Carolina Commerce Department said that the new Toyota battery plant jobs will pay a minimum average salary of $62,000. Compare that to Randolph County’s current annual average salary of $37,865, and we anticipate that community members will be lining up to apply.
“North Carolina’s economic story — from the Wright brothers first in flight, to life-saving medicines at Research Triangle Park — we have been a state of firsts, partnering with industries to develop new ideas that really do change people’s lives,” Governor Roy Cooper said at a media event where he announced the future plant on Monday, as reported by the Raleigh News and Observer.
The Greensboro Randolph Megasite has everything Toyota was looking for, including proximity to four international airports and two seaports, onsite rail and an extensive highway system. Other southern states are also winners in the EV battery production game. Ford and SK Innovation, a South Korean battery maker, are building new factories in Tennessee and Texas.
Lead image via Toyota