(WGHP) — Toyota and Panasonic’s plans to build a battery-manufacturing facility for electric vehicles at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite could be revealed on Monday.
The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce late Friday scheduled a “major economic development announcement” for Monday afternoon by both state and megasite officials. The announcement will be at 2 p.m., but the site has not been revealed. The announcement did not specify the parties involved.
That event will follow a series of meetings on Monday when two government boards will consider incentives that could be close the deal for the companies to invest more than $1 billion to build their facility on 1,000-plus acres near Liberty.
The Randolph County Board of Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. and the Greensboro City Council at 10 a.m. to review property transfers, tax cuts and utilities fees related to a project at the megasite.
And the NC Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee will meet by teleconference at 11 a.m. Monday.
Toyota Motor North America had announced Oct. 18 that it would build such a facility 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, including an initial plan to spend $1.3 billion for a plant that would employ 1,750.
Then last month the NC General Assembly approved $338 million toward improvements that could lure a manufacturer to the megasite and specified site development and incentives for a company that would invest at least $1 billion and create 1,750 jobs.
Both Bloomberg News and Automotive News have reported that Toyota has selected North Carolina, which was runner-up for the Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant in 2018. Toyota said it would select its site by the end of the year.
Bloomberg News had included Panasonic as a partner in the announcement. Panasonic long had partnered with Tesla on its electric vehicles.
Randolph County commissioners will take comment and ostensibly vote on the transfer of ownership of county property and to grant economic development tax cuts for a project that matches those specified by the state.
Greensboro will consider a resolution to authorize non-assessment of water/sewer development fees. The city is contracted to provide those services for the megasite.
The Army Corps also on Monday also will conclude a public comment period about its environmental approval of the facility.
The state has budgeted to spend about $135 million this fiscal year for site development, $100 million to mitigate wetlands and $35 million for roadwork and more wetlands. There is $185 million to reimburse the manufacturer for costs of further site work, roadwork and wetlands mitigation as needed.
But John Boyd Jr., principal in the Boyd Company, a New Jersey-based site selection firm who works heavily in the electronic vehicle segment and in North Carolina, told WGHP last week that he “would not be surprised in the least for North Carolina to get this trophy project.
“Unlike prior misses [by North Carolina], the EV sector is one that requires just a small fraction of the supply of parts that go into a combustible engine,” Boyd said. “The supply chain is not nearly as much of a driver as it was on those near misses.”