At the end of last month, the production of the first Togg electric car started. The designation Togg is short for Turkiyenin Otomobili Girisim Grubu, which means “Turkish Automotive Initiative Group”. The name does not deceive: in fact, before us is a project to create a “Turkish national electric car”, implemented with the active support of local authorities and the president of the country personally. What is behind this? I’ll tell you now!
The beginning of Togg
The history of the Togg company began in 2018, the first electric car project was born a year later. Already in 2019, the concept of an electric crossover was presented, which later became the first serial model of Togg.
We are talking about an electric car of the C-SUV class: small external dimensions, but at the same time a fairly large wheelbase – about 2.8 meters. In fact, this is the most profitable layout option for an electric car.
First, the extended wheelbase allows you to install a large battery under the body, which is necessary for long trips. Secondly, the format of the crossover with a high roof will allow people to sit vertically in the cabin – and thus minimize the inconvenience of landing and the location of the legs due to the battery from below.
Learn important technologies for a tester at a convenient time, and get $1300 already after a year of work
Togg’s first electric car is a C-SUV crossover, which started with the 2019 concept and came to the series almost unchanged. Two versions are announced today: the first is rear-wheel drive, 200 hp power, 300 km range; the second – four-wheel drive, power 400 hp, range 500 km. The start of sales is planned for 2023, the guide price is $43-54 thousand, depending on the version.
It is interesting that the development of this crossover required cooperation with two large foreign companies at once. First of all, this is the Pininfarina company – in addition to the general design, usually experts from third-party ateliers also help with the ergonomics of the interior, the processing of details, and sometimes even with the adjustment of the chassis.
Secondly, the creation of an electric car led to the need to build a new plant, which requires new experience in international cooperation. This time – with the Chinese company Farasis, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of batteries for electric vehicles. And as a plus, add the purchase of equipment for the plant, the organization of the production process – invaluable experience!
Already today, the Togg plant is ready to annually produce up to 100,000 electric cars per year, and in general, its potential will allow to increase production volumes even to 175,000 electric cars per year.
If the Togg website is to be believed, the company’s idea goes far beyond just electric cars. This is about a “mobile platform for the future”: the possibility of “sharing” an electric car and parking spaces, a search and reserve of charging stations, exclusive programs from partners, delivery of ordered goods directly to the trunk of an electric car.
And Togg is the basis for autonomous transport: the company soon promises to create a third-level autopilot for its own models. All of the above is built, first of all, on the capabilities of the “software”. And this means the need for the development of the IT company and the growth of relevant specialists.
In short, Togg is a lot of ideas built around electric cars. But let’s get back to the electric cars themselves.
Range of Togg models: crossover, sedan, other models
Above, I gave the example of the Togg crossover, but the company has already announced new concepts – these are electric sedans. Which, judging by its appearance, are quite close to serial copies: remove the double-sided doors, camera mirrors, retractable handles – and here we have ready options.
Moreover, pay attention to the similar design style of the crossover and sedans: different models of electric cars are unmistakably recognizable as belonging to the same brand. This is important if you need to expand the range of models. After all, judging by the company’s previous plans, it will happen.
The initial model range of Togg should include five electric cars: crossover, sedans, hatchback, minivan. In addition to new models, there must be new sales markets. In addition to sales of electric cars in Turkey itself, the company is also focused on European markets – at least Germany and France.
Today we know the crossover, the announced electric cars-sedans. And in general, the range should include at least five models – and all of them will be only electric cars!
So: is this possible in Ukraine, what does it give and why is it needed?
Someone will say, say, “Togg is another form of propaganda by the forces of the current government.” Perhaps. But the form of propaganda through the creation of something new is much better than trying to impose one’s ideas by military means. Well, you got it. It is symbolic that human history has known examples when the first (propaganda through the car) turned into the second. This is the irony of fate.
However, if everything is done correctly, then the idea of creating a modern mass electric car entails the creation of a huge number of innovations for the country. During the development of Togg projects, about 40 ideas received from 30 “focus” groups with a total number of participants of about two thousand people were used. And probably among them there were many first-class specialists who found an opportunity to apply their knowledge. And in general, the scale of involving people is much wider.
Just think: the Togg electric car project gave Turkey a new factory, the need to develop a network of charging stations and special electric service stations, experience of cooperation in the initial development of an electric car and in the production of batteries, a product for export. This is only what lies on the surface.
This is what Ukraine needs: new ideas around which our country will be reborn. There will be ideas – there will be companies and enterprises, there will be the involvement of young specialists, there will be international cooperation, there will be the possibility of exporting.
Moreover, these can be completely different ideas: the creation of commercial electric cars or electric bikes (there are already examples), the creation of a platform for managing charging stations with subsequent access to the international level (there are also examples), the construction of the Mriya-2 aircraft, the development of IT areas or rocket and space industry. But anything, so as not to stand still!
What is needed for this? State support. And not at the level of “do not interfere”, but at the level of “help”: the construction of roads and power supply, tax benefits for plant equipment, conferences of government representatives for potential foreign investors, etc.
All items from the list are allowed, only a few are allowed. But what is needed is “support”, not just “do not disturb”. After all, Ukrainians have already proved to the whole world: we are worth living and confidently moving forward – into a bright and peaceful future.