Turkey jumps into the EV market by unveiling its first “fully” domestically made electric vehicle, with goals of producing up to 175,000 EVs a year. This will cost around $3.7 billion over the next 13 years. This is refreshing to see — another country getting more serious about electric vehicles.
Turkey unveils first fully homemade car in $3.7 billion bet on electric | Autoblog https://t.co/Hw80eikBK5
— Amberin Zaman (@amberinzaman) December 27, 2019
Many think legacy automakers need to come on board (I am one of those thinkers), but we often forget that while the spotlight is focused on Tesla, legacy automakers, and others, that very same spotlight shining on them shows the world that sometimes it’s best to jump in and get creative as well. After all, the more the merrier.
President Tayyip Erdogan spoke at the unveiling ceremony and said that he wants Turkey to become a global brand.* “We’re all together witnessing Turkey’s 60-year-old dream become reality,” referencing failed plans in the past to build fully homemade cars. “When we see this car on roads around the whole world, we will have reached our goal.”
There will be five models of the new Turkish EV and the government plans to purchase 30,000 of them by 2035.** Turkey also exports to Europe vehicles produced by Ford, Fiat, Renault, Toyota, and Hyundai that are made domestically, so seeing Turkey launch its own EV brand is something that reminds us all that the world sees what’s going on in the automotive industry and is taking notes.
President Erdogan made a promise that he would be the first customer to buy Turkey’s first EV, and that he would pay out of his own money for it — not money from the people. In 2017, analysts were skeptical even though they believed that Turkey had good intentions. It seems like a familiar story. The plans were laid in 2017 and President Erdogan wanted to have them finished by 2019, and here we are, on the brink of 2020.
It’s a wonderful thing to see, honestly. A country in the Middle East, which is a section of the world known for war, strife, and love for dirty oil, is embarking on a mission to create electric vehicles. This could paint a picture of humanity in general: a being that is divided within itself with two wolves at war. One wolf is survival of itself while the other wolf is the destruction of self. As humanity tries to evolve, it is always getting caught up in things like racism, love for war, and other negative influences that harm it overall. We are flawed, but we have the potential for greatness if we can only overcome our self-taught rituals of hate, envy, and destruction.
* Following Turkey’s slaughter of the Kurds in recent months, I can’t see the country having a “good brand” for many of us in the foreseeable future. However, the climate situation is such that we need everyone — no matter who they are — to go electric.
** This is not a compelling timeline at all, in my opinion. It is ridiculously slow. Is it better than having no plan at all? Well, at least it starts the conversation.
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