Toyota seems to be preparing an electric counterpart Smarterand confirms that a new three-row electric SUV will be assembled at the company’s Kentucky plant beginning in 2025.
This is the first time the Japanese automaker has produced an electric vehicle (EV) in the United States. With the new model’s batteries also set to be produced there, the new SUV should be eligible for a US$7,500 (about A$11,500) tax credit in that market.
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Toyota has announced that the batteries for this three-row electric SUV will be manufactured at a new battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina that is currently under construction.
The Japanese automaker is currently investing US$2.1 billion (approx. AUD 3.2 billion) in this battery production facility in North Carolina, which is part of a larger investment of US$ 5.9 billion (approx. AUD 9 billion) is in Toyota North Carolina.
The battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina will serve as the hub for Toyota’s “expanding portfolio of electrified vehicles.” By 2025 there will be a total of six battery production lines – four for hybrid vehicles and two for electric vehicles.
As of this writing, it’s unclear what Toyota’s upcoming three-row electric SUV will look like, but the company has unveiled the “bZ Large SUV” concept as part of the 16 different fully electric concept cars it was presented at the end of 2021.
It’s also unclear if Toyota’s three-row electric SUV will only be available for the North American market, or if it will also be produced in right-hand drive for export markets like Australia.
This announcement of a three-row Toyota electric SUV comes just days after Ford announced it was launching one three-row electric SUV in the United States in 2025.
As previously reportedBy 2026, Toyota wants to bring ten electric vehicles onto the market and by then wants to sell 1.5 million purely electric vehicles worldwide.
The company hasn’t announced any plans to transition its eponymous brand to an all-electric lineup, though Lexus will offer electric-only vehicles by 2035 and aims to sell millions of electric vehicles annually by 2030.