Toyota’s Kentucky plant will assemble a new electric SUV, company says

Photo via Toyota

Toyota is set to begin assembling a new battery electric SUV at its manufacturing plant in Georgetown, the company announced Wednesday.

Starting in 2025, Toyota Kentucky will begin assembling a new, three-row, battery electric SUV, Toyota said. Toyota said the Kentucky plant will lead the company’s carbon reduction efforts with this new initiative to assemble the electric vehicles.

The new vehicle advances the company’s “commitment to vehicle electrification” and moves to reduce its carbon emissions, Toyota said.

This vehicle will be the company’s first U.S.-assembled battery electric vehicle, and it will use batteries from a new Toyota battery manufacturing plant North Carolina. The North Carolina plant begins battery production in 2025, Toyota said.

“Toyota Kentucky set the standard for Toyota vehicle manufacturing in the U.S. and now we’re leading the charge with BEVs,” Susan Elkington, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, said in a news release. “Our incredible team of Kentuckians is excited to take on this new challenge while delivering the same great quality and reliability that our customers expect.”

According to Elkington, employment at Toyota Kentucky is not expected to change, and current production will continue as retooling for the new vehicle assembly begins.

Toyota is also investing $2.1 billion in its North Carolina battery manufacturing plant to support production for the lithium-ion batteries needed for electrified vehicles, Toyota said. There will be six battery production lines at the plant in Liberty, four lines for hybrid electric vehicles and two for battery electric vehicles.

Toyota Kentucky will also implement a new battery pack assembly process for the battery cells from Liberty to go in, Elkington said.

Elkington said Toyota is committed to achieving carbon neutrality and renewable energy is needed to make that possible.

The $591 million investment will support Kentucky’s economic development and ensure 700 jobs at the Georgetown facility, Gov. Andy Beshear said on social media.

“This is incredible news that furthers Kentucky as the center of the electric vehicle sector,” Beshear said in a news release. “Toyota has long been a vital part of the automotive industry in the commonwealth, and now the company is positioned to help lead us into the future.”