Elektrikli araba. That's "electric car" in Turkish. We bring it up because the country of Turkey has decided to build a series of 15 electric car models from a platform that a country-sponsored consortium called TOGG is developing for domestic Turkey production.
TOGG is short for Türkiye'nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu or in English "Turkey’s Automobile Initiative Group." and is made up of five Turkish companies including, Anadolu Group, BMC, Kok Group, cell phone company Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding, the parent of TV maker Vestel. The consortium has as its head of operations former Bosch executive Gurcan Karakas and its COO is is Sergio Rocha, a former General Motors executive who led the company's Korean operations.
The new EV line was introduced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. At the unveiling, he made it clear that this vehicle is to be an example of more domestically-produced technical products that the country hopes will find buyers not just in Turkey, but in Europe and beyond.
Wisely, TOGG is planning to launch a compact crossover first. Crossovers have been exploding in popularity in Europe with vehicles like the VW Tiguan and Nissan Qashqai breaking into the top-ten in sales surrounded on the list by hatchback vehicles. Crossovers are taking share from compact cars in Europe steadily.
Timeframes for EV "launches" are nearly meaningless. However, we will dutifully report that TOGG plans to be selling a crossover by 2022 and that the government is seeing a timeline as long as 2035 for full introduction of the new EV line.
For more information on this topic please see Reuters' story.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.