Toyota West Virginia (TMMWV) will invest $240 million to add a dedicated production line of hybrid transaxles at its Buffalo, WV plant. The new hybrid transaxle line investment will provide equipment and operational upgrades to modernize the facility. The new line will allow TMMWV team members to diversify their skillset and play a larger role in Toyota’s future producing electric vehicles in North America.
“Toyota West Virginia is preparing for future market needs as demand increases in the area of vehicle electrification,” said Srini Matam, president of TMMWV. “The investment will fund targeted improvements that will increase our flexibility and competitiveness, allowing us to be in a better position to directly respond to shifting customer demand for higher efficiency vehicles.”
Hybrid vehicle systems combine two separate sources of propulsion or motive power, such as an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, to take advantage of their respective benefits while also compensating for their respective limitations. While a hybrid system adds vehicle mass with the addition of components and is more complex than a conventional vehicle, the same system allows the vehicle to be more efficient and a hybrid transaxle can effectively transfer power seamlessly between the engine, electric motor and wheels in any number of combinations.
Toyota has committed to offering an electrified option across its entire lineup of both Toyota and Lexus vehicles by 2025. Advancing its production of electrified vehicles and their components, such as these hybrid transaxles, plays a part in helping Toyota to achieve its goals for carbon neutrality.
Alternative-powered vehicles (APVs) – made up of hybrids, plug-ins, fuel cells and batteries – are not new for Toyota, as the company has put more electrified powertrains on U.S. roads than all other automakers combined and has remained the leading manufacturer and seller of APVs for 21 consecutive years.
Toyota’s West Virginia team continues to play an active and important role in Toyota’s manufacturing operations in the U.S., through a series of expansions and updates since it was established.
“This project is more than just a new product. It demonstrates the need for TMMWV and our path forward as we increase our powertrain capabilities to better support Toyota Motor North America’s growing manufacturing footprint by building vehicles where we sell,” added Matam.
The announcement comes on the heels of another recent plant expansion. In February, TMMWV announced a $210 million investment and added 100 new jobs to expand capacity of its four-cylinder and V6 engine lines.
“Toyota has long been an outstanding corporate partner and engine for economic growth in our state,” said Governor Jim Justice. “I’m proud knowing that it’ll be West Virginians helping lead the way as Toyota continues to invest in future technologies and products that’ll help get our friends and neighbors to their destinations more efficiently and safer than ever before.”
TMMWV annually produces about 1 million engines and transmissions for many North American-assembled vehicles. This year marks its 25th anniversary from groundbreaking, and it has since been expanded or received new investment 11 times.