Toyota will spend up to $730 billion ($5.3 billion) in the US and Japan to speed up its production of batteries.

This is the latest investment by an Asian car company in electric vehicles.

The world's biggest car company made the announcement on Wednesday, just two days after competitor Honda and South Korean battery maker LG Energy

Solution said they would spend $4.4 billion to build a battery plant in the US.

While many car companies have made deals with battery makers, Toyota has focused on making batteries in-house because it thinks this will give it a crucial

competitive edge in the era of electric vehicles. The group said it would start making batteries in 2024 or 2026. It will set aside $400,000 for plants in Japan,

including a joint venture with Panasonic that makes batteries for Tesla.

More money will be spent on the battery plant that Toyota is building in North Carolina.

Together, the goal is to increase battery production capacity for the two markets by up to 40 gigawatt hours,

Still, the Japanese car company promised in December to sell 3.5 million electric cars a year by 2030, putting it in direct competition with Tesla.

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