FOCUS: Toyota announces $8 billion EV battery plant expansion in Liberty, N.C.

North Carolina has been actively courting investments from Japan for more than 40 years. But since the state first opened its economic development office in Tokyo in 1978, no other investment comes close to matching what the Japanese carmaker Toyota announced on the last day of October – $8 billion to add eight EV lithium-ion battery production lines to its fast-growing plant in the small Piedmont town of Liberty.

Toyota’s Liberty, N.C., facility will have 7 million square feet, the equivalent of 121 football fields of battery production. (Photo courtesy of Toyota)

The project is expected to create 3,000 jobs. Toyota first announced it was building an EV factory in Liberty two years ago. October’s announcement was the third time it expanded on those plans, with the company’s total investments in North Carolina now expected to approach $14 billion. That represents the largest economic development project in North Carolina history, and it will help rejuvenate an area hit hard by the decline of the once-dominant textiles, tobacco and furniture industries.

“Toyota’s latest expansion in North Carolina is monumental,” North Carolina state senator Phil Berger said in a press release.

Toyota’s announcement is also by far the largest in terms of investment dollars that E2 has tracked across the entire country since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law in August 2022. (The second-largest investment E2 has tracked across all states and sectors in that time was also in North Carolina: In September 2022, Durham-based Wolfspeed announced a $5 billion manufacturing facility for efficient silicon carbide materials and devices with applications in industries including renewables, energy storage and EVs.)

Elsewhere in the state last month, a company called Atuel said it will soon begin producing 5,000 fast DC car chargers annually in Greensboro, creating 400 jobs. Along the coast south of Wilmington, Epsilon Advanced Materials Inc. will invest nearly $650 million and create 500 jobs making battery components. Those jobs will have an average annual salary of $52,000 – about 12 percent higher than Brunswick County’s current average wage.

Not to be outdone, Indiana also racked up three big clean economy announcements last month. These include a $3.2 billion joint-venture battery gigafactory in Kokomo from Stellantis and Samsung and an $800 million solar manufacturing plant Canadian Solar is building near the Ohio River in Jeffersonville. That facility will be able to crank out about 20,000 panels a day. Combined, Indiana’s three announcements are expected to create 2,800 jobs.

Notably, all six announcements from both North Carolina and Indiana came from overseas, underscoring just how effective the IRA is at attracting foreign investments to small-town America. In addition to Japan, companies announcing investments in the Tar Heel and Hoosier states last month are based in the Netherlands, Korea, Canada, India, China and Austria.

Since the IRA was signed into law in August 2022, E2 has tracked 251 projects across 40 states representing more than $106 billion in investments that could help create more than 89,000 jobs. Nearly half of the announcements include companies headquartered overseas, creating opportunity and jobs here in the U.S.

For a complete rundown of all announcements E2 has tracked, please see here.

OCTOBER CLEAN ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENTS

IN OCTOBER, E2 TRACKED 13 PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENTS ACROSS 8 STATES THAT ARE EXPECTED TO DRIVE NEARLY $16 BILLION IN PRIVATE-SECTOR INVESTMENTS AND CREATE MORE THAN 7,700 JOBS.

CALIFORNIA (San Jose): Antora Energy announces U.S. thermal battery manufacturing facility; Oct. 24

  • Industry: Battery/Storage

GEORGIA (Dublin): EV parts supplier to build plant in Dublin; Oct. 31

  • Industry: EV
  • Jobs: 460
  • Investment: $176 million

GEORGIA (Norcross): Suniva upgrades manufacturing and restarts operations in Georgia; Oct. 11

  • Industry: EV
  • Jobs: 240

INDIANA (Kokomo): Stellantis, Samsung SDI announce Kokomo, Ind., as site for second U.S. StarPlus Energy gigafactory; Oct. 11

  • Industry: Battery/Storage
  • Jobs: 1,400
  • Investment: $3.2 billion

INDIANA (Jeffersonville): Gov. Holcomb announces Canadian Solar building new $800 million solar cell manufacturing facility in Southeast Indiana; Oct. 30

  • Industry: Solar
  • Jobs: 1,200
  • Investment: $800 million

INDIANA (Portage): Fronius USA expanding Portage manufacturing facility; Oct. 5

  • Industry: Solar
  • Jobs: 200

MICHIGAN (Holland): Toyota, LG Energy Solution announce $3 billion investment in West Michigan battery plant; Oct. 4

  • Industry: EV
  • Investment: $3 billion

NORTH CAROLINA (Brunswick County): Gov. Cooper announces 500 Jobs as global battery component supplier selects Brunswick County for first U.S. plant; Oct. 26

  • Industry: EV
  • Jobs: 500
  • Investment: $649.9 million

NORTH CAROLINA (Greensboro): Autel Energy to bring hundreds of jobs to Greensboro; Oct. 6

  • Industry: EV
  • Jobs: 400

NORTH CAROLINA (Liberty): Toyota supercharges North Carolina battery plant with new $8 billion investment; Oct. 31

  • Industry: EV
  • Jobs: 3,000
  • Investment: $8 billion

NEW MEXICO (Albuquerque): Solar array maker to build $49 million Albuquerque plant; Oct. 17

  • Industry: Solar
  • Jobs: 87
  • Investment: $49 million

TEXAS (Baytown): John Cockerill advances U.S. expansion of hydrogen in Houston area with launch of Baytown gigafactory; Oct. 30

  • Industry: Hydrogen
  • Jobs: 200

WEST VIRGINIA (South Charleston): Gestamp plans to invest $69.5 million for upgrades at South Charleston stamping plant; Oct. 11

  • Industry: EV
  • Jobs: 100
  • Investment: $75 million

TOTAL PROJECTS BY STATE

ALABAMA

  • Projects: 6
  • Investment: $1.603 billion
  • Jobs: 1,350

ARKANSAS

  • Projects: 2
  • Investment: $250 million
  • Jobs: 500

ARIZONA

  • Projects: 8
  • Investment: $5.901 billion
  • Jobs: 2,280

CALIFORNIA

  • Projects: 12
  • Investment: $1.6 billion
  • Jobs: 160

COLORADO

  • Projects: 7
  • Investment: $880 million
  • Jobs: 2,382 

CONNECTICUT

  • Projects: 4
  • Investment: $24.8 million
  • Jobs: 100 

FLORIDA

  • Projects: 2
  • Investment: $72 million
  • Jobs: 250

GEORGIA

  • Projects: 23
  • Investment: $14.577 billion
  • Jobs: 14,031

IDAHO

  • Projects: 2
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: N/A 

ILLINOIS

  • Projects: 6
  • Investment: $2.064 billion
  • Jobs: 2,719

INDIANA

  • Projects: 10
  • Investment: 4,222
  • Jobs: $6.416 billion

KANSAS

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: N/A

KENTUCKY

  • Projects: 6
  • Investment: $646 million
  • Jobs: 1,129

LOUISIANA

  • Projects: 4
  • Investment: $1.214 billion
  • Jobs: 983

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Projects: 6
  • Investment: $45.7 million
  • Jobs: 1,041

MARYLAND

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: $14 million
  • Jobs: 145 

MAINE

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: $6 million
  • Jobs: 200

MICHIGAN

  • Projects: 20
  • Investment: $12.163 billion
  • Jobs: 10,107 

MINNESOTA

  • Projects: 3
  • Investment: $145 million
  • Jobs: 570

MISSOURI

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: $100 million
  • Jobs: 250

MISSISSIPPI

  • Projects: 2
  • Investment: $115 million
  • Jobs: 340

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Projects: 13
  • Investment: $18.62 billion
  • Jobs: 7,606 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: $16.3 million
  • Jobs: N/A

NEW MEXICO

  • Projects: 5
  • Investment: $1.243 billion
  • Jobs: 2,542

NEVADA

  • Projects: 6
  • Investment: $6.6 billion
  • Jobs: 5,250

NEW YORK

  • Projects: 10
  • Investment: $783 million
  • Jobs: 2,739

OHIO

  • Projects: 13
  • Investment: $6.395 billion
  • Jobs: 3,839

OKLAHOMA

  • Projects: 5
  • Investment: $2.45 billion
  • Jobs: 1,490

OREGON

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: N/A

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Projects: 2
  • Investment: $116.1 million
  • Jobs: 15 

PUERTO RICO

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: 800

RHODE ISLAND

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: N/A

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Projects: 19
  • Investment: $11.071 billion
  • Jobs: 11,072

TENNESSEE

  • Projects: 13
  • Investment: $5.174 billion
  • Jobs: 4,110

TEXAS

  • Projects: 18
  • Investment: $6.769 billion
  • Jobs: 6,861

UTAH

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: N/A

VIRGINIA

  • Projects: 3
  • Investment: $45.5 million
  • Jobs: 149

VERMONT

  • Projects: 1
  • Investment: N/A
  • Jobs: 12

WISCONSIN

  • Projects: 6
  • Investment: $242 million
  • Jobs: 262

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Projects: 3
  • Investment: $1.335 billion
  • Jobs: 850

ABOUT THIS ANALYSIS

This analysis is based on publicly available information for new clean energy projects, expansions, and renewed productions only announced since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed on August 16, 2022. Projects that began development, were proposed, or applied for local and state approval before the passage of the IRA are not included. For more information on other projects that stand to benefit to benefit from clean energy investments in different ways, see other resources below from the White House, Climate Power, the Climate Action Campaign, American Clean Power, and Energy Innovation.

OTHER RESOURCES

Investing in America | Invest.gov | Interactive map that illustrates the impact of these record-breaking levels of public and private investment across states and territories under the Biden Administration.

Clean Energy Projects Tracker | ClimatePower.us | Climate Power’s analysis includes public announcements of clean energy developments that have been proposed, launched or advanced since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Climate Wins Here Map | ActOnClimate.com | Interactive map off federal investments made in nationwide through the IRA and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Clean Energy Investing in America | CleanPower.org | Analysis of utility-scale  clean energy investments announced since August 16, 2022.

Federal Clean Energy Tax Credit Benefits By State | EnergyInnovation.org | Analysis of potential state-level benefits from the IRA on economic growth, jobs, and public health in the 48 contiguous states, focusing on clean electricity and clean vehicle tax credits.

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