Toyota to Offer Two Three-Row EVs in the States

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Toyota hinted at a new electric Highlander variant earlier this month, but its most recent announcement confirms another three-row electric SUV. Yesterday, the Japanese auto giant said it would build a new EV at its Princeton, Indiana facility and noted that it would inject $1.4 billion to modernize the plant.

That investment joins Toyota’s recently confirmed $1.3 billion drop into its Kentucky plant, where production of a new EV is expected to start next year. The Highlander EV, if it’s called that, would land at the Indiana facility and could be joined by a Lexus variant. Reports point to the Kentucky EV as potentially being called the bZ5X, though Toyota may move away from that annoying naming structure.

Though it’s treaded carefully with EVs, reading the market with what appears to have been a crystal ball, Toyota confirmed at least ten new EVs in a variety of shapes and sizes by 2026. This move will help it make good on that promise, though many of the new models are expected to land in China. Toyota will also expand its battery production facility in North Carolina as part of the investments, bringing 340 new jobs to the area.

The automaker has had no trouble selling its hybrids and SUVs, but its first mainstream EV effort in the U.S. has largely fallen flat. The bZ4X looks and feels like a compliance vehicle, offering slow charging and lacking some of its competitors' futuristic pizzaz. A more traditional EV like the Highlander Hybrid could be the shot in the arm Toyota needs, though 2026 is a long time from now in the automotive world.

[Image: Toyota]

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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.

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4 of 5 comments
  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Apr 26, 2024

    Other sources seem to think that the "electric Highlander" will be built on TNGA and that the other 3-row will be on an all-new EV-specific platform. In that case, why bother building the first one at all?

  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Apr 26, 2024

    Way to bury the lead. "Toyota to offer two EVs in the states"!

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 26, 2024

    Good for them, good for me.

  • Peter Peter on Apr 27, 2024

    Buying an EV from Toyota is like buying a Bible from Donald Trump. Don’t be surprised if some very important parts are left out.