$50m invested in new Michigan battery lab

$50m invested in new Michigan battery lab

YORK TOWNSHIP, MI - In a bold stride towards a greener future, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (Toyota) today proclaimed its plans to pump in nearly $50 million to build a state-of-the-art laboratory at its North American R&D headquarters in York Township, Mich. The new facility will be dedicated to examining batteries for electric and electrified vehicles, targeting the specific needs of the North American market.

The lab's mission will revolve around ensuring the performance, quality, and longevity of automotive batteries produced by Toyota. Eagerly anticipated by the auto industry, the facility's operations are slated to commence in 2025.

Shinichi Yasui, executive vice president of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Research and Development, said, "This new investment in our North American R&D operation...shows Toyota's directional shift towards electrification for all." He further emphasized the strategic placement of the new battery lab, which will bolster Toyota's service to its manufacturing units in North Carolina and Kentucky, the latter soon to roll out an all-new, three-row, battery electric SUV.

The facility's reach will not be limited to battery development alone. It will also encompass evaluations using Level 2 and Level 3 charging, along with fostering connectivity to power sources and infrastructure. Additionally, the chassis dynamometers at Toyota's R&D bases in both York Township and Ann Arbor are being revamped to welcome full battery electric vehicle evaluations.

Jordan Choby, group vice president of Powertrain at TMNA R&D, noted, "With increasing production for electrification coming to North America, it's important to have local supporting infrastructure..." He lauded the facility's role in ushering technology development and offering a playground for experimentation as technological and business landscapes evolve.

In a world rapidly advancing towards electrification, the lab engineers won't just restrict themselves to existing battery production. They are set to delve into new battery configurations that will potentially redefine future Toyota products. Toyota also looks forward to amplifying the lab's capabilities, addressing the broader needs of the battery and BEV ecosystem.

The eco-conscious will laud Toyota's participation in DTE Energy's MIGreenPower program, allowing its Michigan-based Research and Development operations to commit entirely to renewable energy projects by 2026.

Michigan Governor Whitmer expressed her enthusiasm, stating, "Today's investment by Toyota demonstrates Michigan's leadership in pioneering the future of mobility." She connected Toyota's investment with her recently announced 'Make It In Michigan' plan, aiming to bolster Michigan's economy and reaffirm its position at the forefront of battery and electric vehicle innovation.

Toyota, a trailblazer in electrified transportation, boasts a global presence with over 23 million electrified vehicles across various segments. The auto behemoth has an impressive 22 electrified vehicle variants in the U.S. alone, outpacing all competitors. By 2025, every Toyota and Lexus model globally will have an electrified counterpart.

Demonstrating their commitment to a greener future, over the past two years, Toyota has funneled over $8 billion into its U.S. manufacturing hubs to champion its electrification pursuits. Globally, the company has earmarked an impressive $70 billion towards vehicle electrification by the end of this decade.

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