• Turkish company looks to enter the EV race with electric SUV
  • A $3.7 billion investment will look to get Turkish-made vehicles by 2022
  • TOGG's design will be made by Pininfarina

In the electric vehicle (EV) scene, the players are not just from developed worlds like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy anymore. Several other companies that hail from developing nations like China and India have made their mark in the EV race. Now, a tyro in the industry comes from Turkey, and it is looking to make a bid with its electric SUV.

Turkiye'nin Otomobili Girism Grubu (TOGG) is Turkey's first shot in making it in the already tight EV competition. Its owners are a consortium composed of Anadolu Group, BMC Turkey, Kök Group, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding. With an investment of $3.7 billion and backing from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose ambition was to create Turkish-made vehicle, the electric SUV looks to hit the roads by 2022.

The prototype that the company unveiled on Dec. 24 will be manufactured in Gemlik, Bursa and is an electric C-segment SUV. Its design is a joint effort together with the Italian car designer and coachbuilder Pininfarina.

When it comes to performance, TOGG's first product is slightly on par with Tesla's Model X in terms of range: 310 miles with its higher-capacity lithium-ion battery pack, and 186 miles with the lower capacity. A standard electric motor brings 200 horsepower to its rear wheels and can go from zero to 62 miles in 7.6 seconds, and its AWD model is much faster at 4.8 seconds. Tesla, however, can do it in 2.9.

TOGG's SUV offers a five-seater with monitors on its dashboard and center console, which is kind of like China's Byton, except that Byton's dashboard monitors are 48-inch wide.

The $3.7 billion investment will not go to a single project alone as TOGG will also be making an electric Sedan model that will go head to head with Tesla's Model S.

The 22 billion in Turkey's local currency lira will produce five models, along with a planned delivery of 175,000 vehicles a year.

However, when the first few vehicles hit the streets two years from now, it will probably not be on American soil as the company first eyes the European market where Tesla is already building a strong foothold. In the Netherlands alone, Tesla was able to deliver 11,000 vehicles in December, and it is also the best-selling brand in Norway, according to electrek.

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