Turkey to unveil Dh13.6bn home-grown electric car project

The car is expected to hit the roads in 2021

Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology, poses with Turkey's new electric car, set to be unveiled on Friday. Courtesy: Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology Twitter
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Turkey plans to produce 175,000 electric cars a year in a new project, set to be unveiled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday and predicted to draw investment of 22 billion lira (Dh13.6 billion) over 13 years.

The project is a long-term objective of Mr Erdogan's. He said in November 2017 that he intended to launch a car made entirely in Turkey by 2021.

In the north-western Turkish district of Gebze on Friday, the Turkish leader is expected to drive an electric car prototype over a suspension bridge.

Ahead of the launch, the consortium of companies behind the electric car released a video of it driving down highways and over a bridge in black tarpaulin.

A decree issued on Friday signed by the president said that the plant will be set up in Turkey’s Bursa province with government assistance and the project would receive tax breaks. The project is expected to employ 4,323 people, including 300 qualified personnel.

Five models of the new vehicle will be produced and the government has agreed to by 30,000 of the cars by 2035, the decree said.

In June 2018, five domestic companies: Anadolu Group, BMC, mobile phone operator Kok Group, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding agreed to create the new home-made electric car. The consortium of five is called Turkey’s Automobile Initiative Group (TOGG).

But the new car’s design was actually completed by Italian firm Pininfarina, that has worked on designs for Ferrari, Fiat, Peugeot and Volvo.

Currently, there are 1,500 electric vehicles and over 1,000 charging stations in Turkey. The country is projected to have some 2.5 million electric cars and 1 million charging stations in 2030, according to a report by SHURA Energy Transition Centre.