At the end of last month, production of the first Togg electric car started. What’s this? The designation Togg is an abbreviation for Turkiyenin Otomobili Girisim Grubu, which means “Turkish Automobile Initiative Group”. The name does not deceive: in fact, we have before us a project to create a “Turkish national electric car”, implemented with the active support of the local authorities and the president of the country personally. What is behind this? Now I’ll tell you!
The history of Togg began in 2018, the world saw the first project of an electric car a year later. Already in 2019, the concept of an electric crossover was presented, which later became the first production model of Togg.
We are talking about an electric car of the C-SUV class: small external dimensions, but at the same time a rather large wheelbase – about 2.8 meters. In fact, this is the most advantageous layout option for an electric car.
Firstly, the stretched wheelbase allows you to install a large battery under the body, which is necessary for long-distance travel. Secondly, the crossover format with a higher roof will allow the use of a vertical landing in the cabin – and thus minimize the inconvenience of landing and positioning the legs due to the battery below.
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Togg’s first electric car is the C-SUV crossover, which began as a 2019 concept and entered the series almost unchanged. Two versions have been announced today: the first is rear-wheel drive, 200 hp, 300 km power reserve; the second – all-wheel drive, power 400 hp, cruising range 500 km. The start of sales is scheduled for 2023, the price target is $43-54 thousand, depending on the version.
The development of this crossover required cooperation with two large foreign companies at once. Firstly, this is the Pininfarina company – in addition to the overall design, usually the specialists of third-party studios also help with the ergonomics of the cabin, the elaboration of details, sometimes even with the tuning of the chassis.
Secondly, the creation of an electric car led to the need to build a new plant, which required 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. Plus, add the purchase of equipment for the plant, the organization of the production process – an invaluable experience!
Already today, the Togg plant is ready to annually produce up to 100 thousand electric cars a year, and in general its potential will allow increasing production even up to 175 thousand electric cars a year.
According to the Togg website, the company’s idea goes far beyond just electric cars. Here we are talking about a “mobile platform for the future”: the possibility of “sharing” an electric car and parking spaces, searching for and reserve charging stations, exclusive programs from partners, delivery of ordered goods directly to the trunk of an electric car.
And Togg is a groundwork for autonomous transport: the company soon promises to implement a third-level autopilot for its models. All of the above is built primarily on the capabilities of the “software”. And this means the need for the development of an IT company and the growth of relevant specialists.
In a word, Togg is a lot of ideas built around electric cars. But still, let’s get back to the most electric vehicles.
Range of Togg models: crossover, sedan, other models
Above, I gave an example of a 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 swing doors, mirror cameras, retractable handles – and here are the finished options.
And pay attention to the similar design style of the crossover and sedans: different models of electric vehicles are unmistakably recognized as belonging to the same brand. This is important if you need to expand the range of models. After all, judging by the preliminary plans of the company, it will happen.
The initial model range of Togg should include five electric vehicles: crossover, sedans, hatchback, minivan. In addition to new models, there must be new markets. In addition to selling electric vehicles in Turkey itself, the company is also focused on European markets – at least Germany and France.
Today we know the Togg crossover, electric sedans have also been announced. In general, the range should include at least five models – and all these will be only electric cars!
So: is it possible in Ukraine, what does it give and what is it for?
Someone will say, they say, “Togg is another form of propaganda for the forces of the current government.” Maybe. 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 get the idea. It is symbolic that human history has known examples when the first (propaganda through the car) turned into the second. Here is such an irony of fate.
However, if you do not go too far, then the idea of creating a massive modern electric car entails the creation of a huge amount of innovation for the country. When developing Togg projects, about 40 ideas were used, received from 30 focus groups with a total of about two thousand participants. And certainly 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 vehicle project gave Turkey a new factory, the need to develop a charging network and special electric service stations, cooperation experience in the initial development of an electric vehicle and battery production, a product for export. This is just what lies on the surface.
That’s 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 involvement of young professionals, there will be international cooperation, there will be an opportunity to export.
Moreover, these can be completely different ideas: the creation of commercial delivery electric vehicles 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 -direction or rocket and space industry. Anything to keep you going!
What is needed for this? State support. And not at the “do not interfere” level, but at the “help” level: laying roads and power supplies, tax incentives for equipment for the plant, conferences of government representatives for potential foreign investors, etc. You can do all the items from the list, you can only a few.
But what is needed is “support”, and not just “do not interfere”. After all, Ukrainians have already proven to the world that we are worth moving forward into a bright and peaceful future.