In a bid to meet the demand for the vehicle electrification market that is growing at a faster pace, Toyota has announced an additional $90 million investment for two of its manufacturing facilities in the US. This announcement comes at a time even before the ink dried on its November 2021 investment in hybrid transaxle production in West Virginia.
The global automaker has committed to offering an electrified option across its entire Toyota and Lexus vehicles lineup by 2025. Advancing the production of electrified vehicles and their components, including hybrid transaxles, plays an essential part in helping Toyota achieve its goals for carbon neutrality.
A communication from the company said that it will invest $73 million in Toyota West Virginia (TMMWV).
This investment comes on the heels of the $240 million investment announced in November and will increase hybrid transaxle production capacity to 600,000 units per year. With this funding, TMMWV will also begin assembling about 120,000 rear motor stators per year, a key component in electric motors.
Rear Motor Stator
In an electric motor, the stator is a set of copper wire coils assembled into a stack of steel plates. The stator provides a magnetic field that drives the rotating arm and helps power the vehicle.
Currently, a team at TMMWV comprising more than 2,000 people builds approximately one million engines and transmissions annually for many of Toyota's North American-assembled vehicles. With today's announcement, Toyota has invested more than $2 billion in its West Virginia plant.
Secondly, the automaker is investing $17 million at its Toyota Tennessee (TMMTN) facility, which will increase the plant's capacity to cast hybrid transaxle cases and housings to 1.3 million per year.
Hybrid electric vehicle systems combine two separate propulsion or motive power sources, such as an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, to take advantage of their respective benefits while compensating for their individual limitations. While hybrid systems are more complex than a conventional vehicle and add vehicle mass due to the addition of components, the same system allows the vehicle to be more energy-efficient as the hybrid transaxle can effectively transfer power seamlessly between the engine, electric motor and wheels in any number of combinations.
The nearly 400 employees at TMMTN currently produce a million transmission cases and housings and approximately 1.8 million engine blocks a year, parts needed for every Toyota and Lexus vehicle manufactured in North America. The added investment to the plant brings the to-date total investment to $389 million, the company said.
David Rosier, President, TMMWV, said, 'Our team embraces this challenge, and it's clear Toyota has faith in our ability and trusts us to take the company to new heights.'
Wes Woods, President, TMMTN, said, 'Our highly skilled team is excited to expand production of the hybrid transaxle cases and housings.'