Toyota to Build $50M Lab in Michigan to Test Batteries for EVs, Hybrids

The company says the lab is expected to begin work in 2025.

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Alex McDougall/Ann Arbor News via AP, file

YORK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) โ€” Toyota says it will spend nearly $50 million to build a vehicle battery testing laboratory at its North American research center in Michigan.

The company said Thursday that the lab in York Township south of Ann Arbor will test batteries made for hybrid and electric vehicles at a new factory in North Carolina, as well as from battery suppliers.

No new jobs will be created because Toyota will reassign workers from other areas and provide training as needed.

The company says the lab is expected to begin work in 2025 and could be expanded as more electric vehicles are made.

The lab will do performance, quality and durability testing, as well as testing of charging capabilities.

"This new facility also enables us to experiment and pursue new opportunities as technology and business needs advance," Jordan Choby, group vice president of powertrain, said in a statement.

Last month Toyota said it would invest another $2.1 billion in the battery factory that's under construction near Greensboro, North Carolina. It brings the total investment in the Randolph County plant to $5.9 billion to meet the company's goal of selling 1.8 million electric or hybrid vehicles in the U.S by 2030. Toyota broke ground on the plant in 2021.

To start, it will supply batteries to Toyota's huge complex in Georgetown, Kentucky, which will build Toyota's first U.S.-made electric vehicle, a new SUV with three rows of seats.

Toyota's new President Koji Sato has promised what he called an aggressive shift on "electrification" of vehicles including hybrids.

The company has been criticized by environmental groups for falling behind in electric vehicle sales and relying on hybrids, which burn gasoline, for future sales.

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