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Turkish Tesla rival TOGG hopes to push Turkey onto global automotive stage

By Tom Fraser, 17 Jan 2020 Car News

togg electric vehicle prototype

Turkish President reveals a pair of Tesla-rivalling electric vehicles whilst feverishly trademarking the venture worldwide

A five-strong conglomerate of Turkey’s leading industrial groups has combined to create the Turkish Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG), with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan subsequently revealing two electric prototypes developed by the partnership.

Production versions of the all-electric crossover and sedan will be the country’s first entirely indigenous cars, and the venture is hoped to push Turkey onto the global automotive stage while also boosting its own manufacturing portfolio.

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There’s said to be two powertrains on offer, starting with a 149kW rear-wheel drive battery architecture that’ll see you motoring for roughly 300 kilometres on a single charge, with a higher-spec 300kW dual-motor system that is said to travel close to 500 kilometres before needing to be plugged back in.

TOGG also insists its charging system will be quick enough to go from zero to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes using a 150kW charger.

The only part you could argue wasn’t designed in-house would be the styling, which was penned by Italian design house Pininfarina. The crossover/SUV model in particular boasts styling that's sympathetic to its segment, and wouldn't look out of place lined up against rivals like the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Read: 2018 Tesla Model X P100D performance review

It looks suitably swanky inside, featuring no less than four screens in the front row alone. The rest of the interior gets a luxurious treatment of leather, wood and metal, and features some premium ambient lighting as well.

In anticipation of the project that's set to enter production from 2022, TOGG has acquired a plant in the north western district of Bursa that can accommodate up to 175,000 units a year. The Turkish government plans to invest over $5.4 billion over 13 years, so they’re deadly serious about giving this venture a red-hot go.

“Turkey is several steps ahead of others by entering the electric automobile sector. We are not manufacturing cars for our needs alone. We are looking forward to establishing a global brand,” the president Erdogan said.

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As such, TOGG is hurriedly preparing patent applications worldwide relating to design registration and has applied for a patent in its own country for a ‘cruise control system’ but more curiously, a ‘semi-replaceable battery, interchangeable battery system and mechanical connection structure,” Daily Sabah reported.

That last one is particularly interesting as no other manufacturer allows consumers to replace a battery or caters for a swap-n'-go interchangeable battery system.

Read next: 2019 Jaguar I-Pace review: Britain in front with all-electric first strike

Daily Sabah reports design patents have been submitted in Russia, the United States, India, China, South Korea, Japan and areas of Europe. While Australia isn’t mentioned, the application to Japan gives us hope that TOGG will create a right-hand drive version that could potentially see its way Down Under.

It’s a very nationalistic affair but if they can even achieve half of their claims, it seems like we may have another player in the futuristic electric vehicle space.