“Why did Turkey cross Elon Musk? Because it’ll stuff his EVs, that’s why!” No disrespect to the country, but one can’t resist the joke – not when it goes on the record saying its upcoming Pehlivan electric car will be better than a Tesla.
Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık did actually make that statement, according to a Hurriyet Daily News report.
“Our car will be better and safer than Tesla’s car”, said Isik. “While they need to establish charging stations, we will integrate the charging station into the car thanks to a developed engine which extends the car’s range.”
The Pehlivan (that’s Turkish for wrestler) is the winning design of a competition that was sponsored by the Turkish government and was co-developed with TÜBİTAK, the country’s Scientific and Technical Research Council.
Having just completed a two-week tour of the Balkans at Sarajevo, Serbia, the project is part of Turkey’s initiative of developing its homebuilt EV. Last October, it sealed a deal with Saab owner NEVS and acquired the electric Saab 9-3 intellectual rights, though not its name as it will be sold under a new, Turkish brand.
“One of the world’s largest battery manufacturers offered us to make production jointly. We have already built cooperation with Bosch in the framework of our car project”, Isik added.
“We want to produce the range extender conventional engine in Turkey by the end of 2018 with having the intellectual property rights of the technology. We are also in talks with several companies for further cooperation. The two-cylindrical gasoline-powered engine with a 1 liter capacity, which will also serve as a generator, will work with high productivity at around 35 percent.”
So, this is going to be an EV with a range extender. Nothing we’ve seen before, right? Mr. Musk, you’d better brace yourself – or not…