RALEIGH – It’s official. Toyota will build a battery production facility in Randolph County, with an initial investment of $ 1.29 billion.
The announcement was made earlier this afternoon at an event held in person at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, where Toyota will build its first battery production facility in the country.
“Toyota could have chosen anywhere in the United States for this first battery space, and they chose us,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “We encourage more electric vehicles on the road and in our state fleet, and as all this progress continues, the world will look to North Carolina as a hub for clean energy and clean energy jobs.”[ads1];
The state ranked first in the nation in an April 2021 analysis of rural clean energy jobs, and ninth in the nation in clean energy jobs overall.
The plant will be powered by a new unit, Toyota Battery Manufacturing of North Carolina, according to Christopher P. Reynolds, Chief Administrative Officer, Corporate Resources, at Toyota Motor North America, who spoke at the event.
Reynolds gave Governor Cooper two gifts, an aluminum car model, and a representation of one of the batteries to be built at the new facility, which Reynolds said planned to go online in 2025 and be able to produce as many as 1.2 million batteries annually.
“We are going to build our brand new, very first, battery production facility in the United States here in Randolph County in the great state of North Carolina,” said Reynolds. “Today marks only the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial partnership and a strong relationship with Tar Heel State,” Reynolds said.
Toyota had previously announced that it would invest around $ 13.5 billion globally, including $ 3.4 billion in the United States.
Reynolds noted that the $ 1.29 billion investment in the site in Randolph County, through 2031, would be “just the beginning” of the company’s relationship with the state of North Carolina.
The plant will create 1,750 new jobs, Reynolds said, and workers will help the company “develop and locate car battery production, which will pave the way for battery-powered electric vehicles in North America,” Reynolds said.
“I have to be as clear as I can,” Reynolds said. “This is just the first chapter in our history in North Carolina,” he said, adding, “it’s a very long book.”
“When this new battery system is up and running,” Reynolds said, “the best is yet to come.”
Toyota is reportedly considering the Triad ‘megasite’ for the $ 1.29 billion battery plant
Toyota will receive a new type of financial incentive from North Carolina
Toyota’s commitment to the project was confirmed during a meeting Monday morning at the State Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee, where state incentives were approved.
Toyota has been approved for a new type of job development investment grant, a “transitional JDIG class”, which will reimburse the company $ 79.1 million in employee withholding tax over 20 years if it meets annual employment and investment targets. These goals are based on a total of 1,750 jobs created and invested $ 1.29 billion by 2026.
The state budget also included $ 135 million for this specific project, including $ 100 million for on-site work and wetland mitigation and an additional $ 35 million for associated road construction and wetland reduction elsewhere in Randolph County.
At a meeting of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners on Monday morning, officials described Project Darwin as a “transformation project” that would provide more than 3,000 jobs with an average salary of at least $ 62,234 – about $ 28,000 more than the median annual salary in Randolph County.
Commissioners heard that the employer was already considering an expansion that would bring the total project to $ 3 billion, with 3,875 jobs.
Golden LEAF, a Rocky Mount-based economic development foundation, has also pledged $ 40 million to the state Department of Transportation for necessary road upgrades in the area.
Car system for NC? The site’s recruiter says the state is ready to be a player
The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation is the developer of the 1,800-acre site. It recently applied for approval for a grading permit, The Greensboro News & Record reported.
Bloomberg News reported last month that Toyota was considering North Carolina for the facility.
The state has long tried to land a large factory in the car industry, and the megacity has been assessed before by Toyota, according to media reports.
“It was four years ago that the NC management came together to promote this site for us,” Reynolds said. “It was because of the North Carolina leadership’s enthusiasm, perseverance and cooperation across party lines,” Reynolds said. “That we are here today.”
What a Toyota plant in North Carolina can mean for the triad and for the state
The impact of a car factory
Economist Mike Walden of North Carolina State University said the impact of the project will be enormous.
“By big boost, I mean billions of dollars,” Walden said. “Car factories are in demand for several reasons: They provide a large number of jobs and wages; they provide well-paid work for workers who do not have four-year college degrees (which is critically important in the age of globalization); they can have a significant supply chain effect in the state – and thus increase the total work effect by at least 50% over those in the factory – and they contribute to the state’s business reputation, which means more companies will consider North Carolina for a place. ”
“The landing of a company would reaffirm the wisdom of North Carolina’s more proactive strategy of competing for these large companies, by having websites clear and politically agreed on an incentive package achieved,” he added.
Developers of the area applied for a similar permit in 2018 when Toyota assessed the country for a car plant, News & Record noted.
The recently approved state budget in North Carolina required $ 320 million in economic development incentives for what would be called a “transformative” project.
John Quinterno, of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, told WRAL TechWire that another economic development project could come to Triangle.
“I saw that the legislature’s technical corrections bill … contained $ 107 million in cash for infrastructure investments for the Piedmont Triad Airport, which is conditional on the allocation of a high-yield JDIG. [Job Development Investment Grant] price for an aircraft manufacturer in Guilford County, “said Quinterno.” Not sure if it’s the same [as the megasite] or something else. I know HondaJet is already in Greensboro, so maybe they’re planning an expansion. “