Toyota Motor, the Japanese automaker that until recently had resisted a big investment in electric vehicles, said on Monday that it planned to build a factory to make batteries in North Carolina.
The plant, which will employ 1,750 people, will be built outside Greensboro and is expected to be complete by 2025 at a cost of $1.29 billion, Toyota said. It will initially have four production lines, each capable of making battery packs for 200,000 cars a year. The automaker, one of the world’s largest, hopes to eventually add two more lines, which would bring production capacity to packs for 1.2 million vehicles.
“The future of mobility is electrification,” Ted Ogawa, the chief executive of Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement. “North Carolina offers the right conditions for this investment, including the infrastructure, high-quality education system, access to a diverse and skilled work force, and a welcoming environment for doing business.”
The plan, which will be outlined at a news conference later on Monday, is the latest signal traditional automakers are now betting that sales of electric vehicles will soar over the next decade and will begin to replace internal-combustion vehicles, which are major sources of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.
In September, Ford Motor said it would spend $11.4 billion to build three battery plants and an electric truck factory in Kentucky and Tennessee. General Motors has two battery plants under construction, in Ohio and Tennessee, and plans to add others. G.M. has set a goal of selling only electric vehicles by 2035.
The North Carolina plant is part of a broader plan by Toyota to spend $13 billion to build up battery and electric vehicle production capacity around the world. Until this year, Toyota, which pioneered hybrid cars that are powered by batteries and internal combustion engines, had hesitated to commit large investments to making electric vehicles, betting that sales of E.V.s would be slow to take off.
Toyota already has several auto assembly and engine manufacturing plants across the South, including in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.