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Toyota is Bringing Electric Car Production to Kentucky

By
Laurance Yap
February 27, 2024
3
min
Toyota recently announced a massive expansion of its Kentucky manufacturing facility, which currently makes hybrid Camry and RAV4 models. The factory will produce a new large electric SUV, which should be eligible for federal incentives.
Toyota Kentucky plant drone view
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U.S.-Made Toyota EVs Coming

In addition to being a hybrid vehicle pioneer, Toyota has long been building cars in the U.S., part of its “build cars where we sell” strategy. The company has factories in Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. And as the company prepares for the transition towards an electrified future, it has also established a battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina.

Toyota Kentucky plant production

New Three-Row EV SUV

Now, the company is expanding its investment in the U.S. again, with a massive $1.3-billion investment in its Kentucky facility. The expansion will, in combination with batteries from North Carolina, enable the production of an all-new three-row battery electric SUV for the U.S. market, which Toyota previewed with the bZ Large concept vehicle last year.

“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to vehicle electrification and further reinvesting in our U.S. operations,” said Kerry Creech, president of Toyota Kentucky. “Generations of our team members helped prepare for this opportunity, and we will continue leading the charge into the future by remaining true to who we are as a company and putting our people first for generations to come.”

Man working in the Toyota Kentucky plant

Toyota’s History of U.S. Manufacturing

Toyota has already announced that its flagship facility in Kentucky, opened in 1988, would be the location for assembly of future electric cars. Currently, the factory churns out the popular Camry midsize sedan – including the hybrid variant – as well as the Lexus ES and Toyota RAV4 hybrid models. So it already has a foundation in building electrified vehicles, as the powertrains and powertrain-related parts are also manufactured in Kentucky. The factory employs almost 10,000 team members.

“You cannot think of the Bluegrass region and Scott County without thinking of Toyota,” said Kentucky governor Andy Beshear. “We are grateful that they continue to invest in our commonwealth and continue to set a standard for high-quality, well-paying jobs for our citizens.”

People working inside the Toyota Kentucky plant

Eligible for Federal Incentives

The $1.3-billion investment is the latest in a string of announcements from Toyota, which is putting over $17 billion into its U.S. manufacturing facilities to support the company’s electrification efforts. Local battery manufacturing, as well as local production, should mean that (unlike the bZ4X crossover) future Toyota electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax incentive, making them more affordable for all.

Front view of a Tesla Model 3 driving through canyon roads

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