Toyota Motor North America invests in a new EV battery lab
Automotive major, Toyota Motor has announced that it will invest $50 million to construct a new laboratory facility to evaluate batteries for electric and electrified vehicles in North America.
The new lab will evaluate and support the development of EV batteries from cell through pack level. The new battery lab will be located at Toyota's North America R&D headquarters in Yok Township, Michigan and operations are expected to begin in 2025.
"This new investment in our North American R&D operation, which has been a key pillar of the Michigan automotive industry for more than 50 years, shows Toyota's directional shift towards electrification for all," said Shinichi Yasui, Executive VP of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Research and Development.
"By adding these critical evaluation capabilities around automotive batteries, our team is positioned to better serve the needs of our customers, including Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, the later of which will soon be assembling the recently announced all-new, three-row, battery-electric SUV."
As part of the evaluation process, the new Michigan battery lab will help meet North American customer requirements by confirming the performance, quality, and durability of automotive batteries. Beyond battery development, other lab activities will include evaluations using Level 2 and Level 3 charging as well as connectivity to power sources and infrastructure. Chassis dynamometers at both Toyota R&D campuses in York Township and Ann Arbor are being upgraded to accommodate full battery electric vehicle evaluations.
In addition to supporting the current battery production, lab engineers will explore new battery configurations for future products. Their research may also contribute to Toyota's development of new electrified vehicle architectures. Toyota will explore further expansion of the lab's capabilities and opportunities for supporting the needs of the battery and BEV ecosystem the company stated.
In the past two years, the company has invested more than $8 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations primarily to support its product electrification efforts. On a global scale, Toyota plans to invest more than $70 billion in vehicle electrification by 2030.