"Turkey's national car, TOGG, will hit the roads of Europe," announced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the opening of the manufacturing plant at the end of October. Since then, it has been clear that Turkey will begin with its own electric car.
"The crazy Turks are coming," - At least, that's how Turkish President Erdogan envisions it when the Turkish TOGG electric car will one day be on the roads of Europe. Around a decade ago, Erdogan had called for manufacturing a Turkish-made car. TOGG, which stands for Türkiye'nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu A., was started in 2017 in response to this initiative.
The Turkish factory opened at the end of October, just south of Istanbul. As early as July, TOGG boss and former Bosch manager Gürcan Karakas said that the first test cars had already rolled off the assembly line. Karakas said, "By the beginning of November, we will have perfected the processes, and then we will freeze them in this form. Then our production facility will be ready to make lots of things."
At first, it was said that the TOGG electric SUV should be obtainable from spring 2023, but the third quarter of 2023 is now regarded as more realistic. In the coming year, 20,000 cars are to be manufactured. In the long term, it should be 175,000 units per year. The automaker plans to have five models in its range by 2030.
The first three cars will go straight to the Turkish President, and the first 18 months of mass production will be focused on the Turkish market. According to Handelsblatt, the Turkish government said a year ago that it wanted to buy about 30,000 cars yearly.
Handelsblatt says they haven't said anything about how much the electric SUV will cost. However, Deutsche Welle says the price will be around 900,000 Turkish lira, which is about 48,500 euros. A lot of Turks need help paying for that. For most people, the most they can spend on a new car is closer to 500,000 lira. But in general, many critics in Turkey disagree with the idea that the electric car is seen as "Turkey's electric car" and instead see it as a prestige project of Erdogan and his AKP party, which is using the project to help them win elections.
Even if the price is or will be lower, it needs to be clarified if the car has what it takes to be a Turkish Volksstromer. After all, the country needs a charging infrastructure that's good enough. Hüsamettin Yalcn, the Managing Director of Automotive Data, told Deutsche Welle that Turkey's infrastructure is not ready to switch to electric cars. When driving from Istanbul to Ankara, a driver shouldn't have to worry about where to find charging stations. "We haven't gotten there yet," Yalcn said.
Even though the TOGG was designed in Turkey and is put together in Turkey, it is clear that the car is the result of a globalized world. The battery, motor, and other electronic parts all come from other countries. At the beginning of the process, only 51% of the materials come from Turkey. This share is expected to rise to 65% over the next few years.
Auto Zeitung says the TOGG electric SUV will have a 200-horsepower (147-kW) electric motor on the rear axle. A version with four-wheel drive and twice as much power is also in the works. The TOGG electric SUV with rear-wheel drivetrain needs 7.6 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. Also, customers should be able to choose between two types of batteries with a range of either 300 or 500 kilometers. @via togg.
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