Toyota Eyeing Kentucky for New EV Plant

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Toyota was slow to get going with electric vehicle development, but it’s got a new CEO and a fresh outlook on what it will take to remain the world’s largest automaker. To improve its chances and gain eligibility for federal tax credits, Toyota needs to build EVs in the United States. That could be changing as early as 2025, according to a new report from Nikkei

The publication states that Toyota will update an existing auto factory in Kentucky to build EVs. The automaker reportedly aims to build 10,000 EVs every month by the end of 2025, and the shift to Kentucky will make vehicles produced there eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credits.

Toyota is building a battery plant in North Carolina, scheduled to open around the same time, giving it the ability to build EVs in the country from start to finish. Ultimately, these moves will enable a 200,000-unit annual EV production capacity, which will account for around 20 percent of Toyota’s U.S. manufacturing volume. 

The automaker wants to build one million EVs annually by 2026, but its status as the world’s largest has not given it the upper hand in the space. It only built 24,000 EVs in 2022, only a fraction of the more than 1.3 million vehicles sold by Tesla last year. 

[Image: Toyota]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

More by Chris Teague

Join the conversation
5 of 10 comments
  • Tassos Tassos on Feb 22, 2023

    Toyota foolishly wasted its time with FOOL's CELLS instead of BEVs, wasted billions on the stupid things, and now is a DECADE Behind the Dominant BEV firm, TESLA.

    Luckily for Toyota, NO legacy automaker was yet able to mount a credible challenge to Tesla. I had some hopes for VW, but it failed miserably, and they are wasting more billions and trying again. So Toyota may still have a shot.

    But frankly, given the difficulties BEVs face today, including an incomplete charging infrastructure, VERY High prices for EITHER New or (especially) USED BEVs, consumers would be WISER to buy a PLUG IN PRIUS instead, if fuel cost and emissions is a major issue for them. The new Prius Prime not only has a huge increase in HP over the previous model, AND is still even more fuel efficient (the non-plug-in Prius is rated EPA 57 MPG!!!), it will have an electric only range of FORTY Miles. I would do almost Everything on electricity on my daily chores, even on weekends, except long trips, where the plug-in will NEVER have any RANGE ANXIETY.

  • Beachy Beachy on Feb 23, 2023

    Electrification is fine, but if the cars are still butt-ugly no one will buy them.

    • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Feb 23, 2023

      They are not all ugly, the EV RAM is a looker, at least to my eyes. Problem is I can't think of a worst application w/current battery tech. for an EV than a 1/2 ton PU truck. So I will have to pass right on by that until they figure out a better battery or offer that same body styling with a V8 Hemi under the hood, which is highly unlikely.

  • Beachy Beachy on Feb 23, 2023

    I was complaining about Toyota’s ugly cars. Maybe with a new CEO they will stop doubling down on the ugly.