It’s Electric: Toyota to Bring First Hybrid Powertrain Production to U.S.
September 26, 2017
PLANO, Texas (September 26, 2017) – Toyota just upped the stakes to remain the top manufacturer of hybrid vehicles worldwide. Most noteworthy with a $373.8 million investment. All in five U.S. manufacturing plants that will support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain. Most importantly and to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) at its Alabama plant. Each of the projects is scheduled to begin this year and all should be operational by 2020.
The investments will also include adding new production of hybrid transaxles (hybrid vehicle transmissions) at the Buffalo, West Virginia, manufacturing facilities. All to be expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at the Georgetown, Kentucky, plant. Thereby increasing production of 2.5-liter cylinder heads at Bodine Aluminum’s Troy, Missouri, plant. Finally and modifying the Bodine Jackson, Tennessee, plant. Moreover to accommodate production of hybrid transaxle cases and housings and 2.5-liter engine blocks. The Huntsville, Alabama, plant will undergo a comprehensive upgrade. Finally to enable it to build engines that complement TNGA.
As I wrote before:
In 1997 in Japan, Toyota launched the “Coaster Hybrid EV” and then launched the “Prius”. Next came the second-generation Prius in 2003. Moreover and the expanded use of TMC’s hybrid system on such vehicles. For example minivans, SUVs, rear-wheel-drive sedans and hatchbacks.
The third-generation Prius went on sale in May 2009, and the global sales topped 2 million by the end of August 09.
The 2.5-liter engines manufactured in Kentucky. Transaxles will also be made in West Virginia. All will be used in hybrid vehicles built in North America. For that’s such as the Highlander Hybrid manufactured in Princeton, Indiana. Toyota remains the world leader in gas-electric hybrids. Thereby surpassing 3 million sales in the U.S. and 10 million globally.
Fuel Efficiency of Highlander
The Highlander Hybrid’s Hybrid Synergy Drive also features a 3.5-liter V6. That was for the 2011-2013. It replaced the previous 3.3-liter V6 in 2011. While it is also a V6 it has an electric drive motor/generator. All to give you 280 net horsepower. Yet, the 2013 still has a fuel economy rating of 32 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. It only is from extra regenerative braking opportunities and less and more efficiency.
As well, the 32 mpg is a slight improvement from previous years but the Ford Escape 2013 and 2014 get 28-30 miles per gallon vs this hybrid. That’s also why it is so disappointing.
Fifty new jobs will be created because of the investment at the Alabama plant.
There will also be no net gain of jobs at the Kentucky, West Virginia, or Bodine Aluminum facilities, but these investments will help to ensure the stability of the plants’ employment levels in the future.
In addition, the total investment of $373.8 million will be distributed as follows:
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, KY – $120,960,000
Bodine Aluminum Jackson, TN – $14,500,000
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, WV – $115,300,000
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, AL – $106,000,000 and
Bodine Aluminum Troy, MO – $17,050,000
In conclusion, these projects, and others previously announced. All in a move for Toyota to nearly halfway meet its commitment. The commitment of $4.1 billion toward electrification. Finally to invest $10 billion in the U.S., as announced by Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda in January 2017.