Toyota Motor said on Thursday it will invest $240 million in a US engine and transmission plant to build hybrid transaxles. The money will provide new equipment and operational upgrades to modernise the facility, the Japanese vehicle maker said in a statement.
“Toyota West Virginia is preparing for future market needs as demand increases in the area of vehicle electrification,” said Srini Matam, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, a US subsidiary.
“The investment will fund targeted improvements that will increase our flexibility and competitiveness, allowing us to be in a better position to directly respond to shifting customer demand for higher efficiency vehicles.”
Hybrid transaxles transfer power between the engine, electric motor and wheels. Hybrid vehicle systems combine two separate sources of propulsion or motive power, such as an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, to take advantage of their benefits while also compensating for their limitations.
EV Tax Credit
A hybrid system is heavier and more complex than a conventional vehicle but is more energy efficient.
Toyota has committed to offering an electrified option across its entire lineup of both Toyota and Lexus vehicles by 2025.
The new investment comes as Toyota is lobbying against a proposed $4,500 electric vehicle tax credit for trade-union-made vehicles. Like Nissan and Honda, Toyota employs a non-unionised workforce.
The credit is backed by US President Joe Biden and the United Auto Workers union and would benefit General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, which assemble their US-made vehicles in union-represented plants.