RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – The budget North Carolina lawmakers are working through and hoping to pass today includes a surprising line item: $225 million for Phase II for Toyota’s battery manufacturing plant that would bring 5,000 more jobs to the Greensboro/Randolph County megasite.

Toyota in December announced a nearly $1.3 billion investment to build its first battery plant for electronic vehicles on the site near Liberty. That plan pledges 1,750 jobs at a median salary of $62,234 by Dec. 31, 2026. The state approved $271.4 million in total incentives.

Greensboro-Randolph Megasite (File)
Greensboro-Randolph Megasite (File)

At the time Toyota said there could be a Phase 2 of the project that would push those figures to 3,875 jobs and an investment of about $3 billion. That’s what the state budget is addressing for an investment from Toyota by 2034. But for more jobs.

“The monies in H103 are for additional jobs and investment above what the company already has committed to,” state Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Whitsett), the House majority whip, said in a text message to WGHP. “It does go through Commerce.”

WGHP reached to state Sen. Amy Galey (R-Alamance) and Rep. David Craven (R-Randolph), in whose district the megasite is located, the NC Department of Commerce, various other elected leaders, economic development leaders and a spokesperson for Toyota. Those who responded said they were unfamiliar with the expenditure.

Kelly Stefanich, group manager for corporate communications of Toyota Motor North America, said in an email that “Toyota is always studying the competitiveness of its sites for possible future expansion opportunities.  We want to ensure this site is ready if needed in the future.  However, we have nothing to announce at this time.”

The item on Page 123 of House Bill 130, the proposed budget, makes the expenditure conditional on “the manufacturer” meets and agrees to specific standards and terms and calls for a corporate investment by Dec. 31, 2034, of “at least 5,000 eligible and expansion positions” and an investment of $4.7 billion in private funds.

The $225 million appropriate for the Department of Commerce specifies:

  • $175 million in contributions for Toyota’s costs.
  • $50 million in incentives for creating and maintaining 5,000 jobs.
  • A penalty for the company for any failure to meet the job number.

The state had budgeted $135 million this fiscal year for site development, $100 million to mitigate wetlands and $35 million for roadwork and more wetlands. There was $185 million to reimburse the manufacturer for costs of further site work, roadwork and wetlands mitigation as needed.

Toyota Motor North America had announced on Oct. 18 that it would begin production in 2025,  in the U.S. to begin production in 2025, starting with batteries for hybrid electric vehicles. Toyota said it would invest $3.4 billion in the U.S. through 2030.