Toyota has announced plans to invest $1.3 billion in its Kentucky facility to build a three-row electric SUV for the U.S. market.
The new investments are part of the automaker’s efforts to implement an electric vehicle production line at the Kentucky factory and will allow the company to open a battery assembly line within the plant. Battery components will come from the Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina facility.
The car manufacturer has yet to offer details on the upcoming electric SUV but expects the model to launch between late 2025 and early 2026. Toyota plans to spend $35 billion in total on EV production by the end of 2030.
The announcement of a new fully-electric model comes as other automakers, such as Ford, are slashing EV production targets and delaying investments that would improve manufacturing capacity.
Toyota’s battery-powered lineup remains well behind those of other companies, largely due to the anti-EV sentiments of its previous CEO, Akio Toyoda. Although the company’s current chief executive, Koji Sato, has proven more receptive toward battery-powered car production, he has also refused to overlook other zero-emission options, such as hydrogen vehicles. One area where the brand remains ahead of its competitors, however, is hybrids.
Toyota recently reported that hybrid sales rose 46% in its third quarter, boosting profits while offering an alternative route toward offsetting carbon emissions without fully electrified vehicles. Due in part to this success, the company expects to report roughly $33 billion in profit for the fiscal year ending in March. The automaker previously forecast annual earnings of $30.3 billion.