Toyota this week announced a $1.3 billion investment in its plant in Kentucky to support production of electrified vehicles, including a new three-row SUV powered solely by batteries.
The investment will also result in a new production facility at the plant for battery packs that will use lithium-ion batteries supplied by a Toyota battery plant in North Carolina.
Timing for the SUV wasn't mentioned but Toyota last year said it planned to start production of an electric three-row SUV in the U.S. in 2025. That's the same date that Toyota's battery plant in North Carolina is scheduled to come online.
An electric three-row SUV was among the concepts Toyota presented in late 2021, when the automaker announced plans to launch 30 electric vehicles across the Toyota and Lexus brands by 2030. Toyota also showed an electric Land Cruiser concept last year.
Toyota Land Cruiser Se concept
Lexus is also planning to launch an electric three-row SUV that may possibly be built alongside the Toyota at the Kentucky plant. Lexus already builds its ES sedan at the site.
A Lexus electric three-row SUV was also among the concepts Toyota presented in 2021. The vehicle may be called a TZ, judging by recent trademark activity. Such a name would indicate the SUV is an electric alternative to Lexus' gas-powered TX SUV launched for the 2024 model year. The TX is a midsize SUV with third-row seats.
With this week's announcement, Toyota's investment commitments for electrification across North America has grown to $17 billion since 2021.