Turkey to become battery production hub, says Technology Minister Mustafa Varank

Turkey aims to become a hub for battery production with its investments in battery modules, packages and cells, said Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank  on August 28, Hurriyetdailynews.com reports.

To reach this goal, the country will support technology firms’ investments in the automotive sector, he said at a ceremony organized by South Korean automotive giant Hyundai to launch the mass production of i20-model automobiles in the northwestern industrial Turkish province of Kocaeli.

Hyundai’s Turkey factory will cover half of all i20 output across the globe, with 90 percent of all vehicles produced to be exported, Varank noted.

“This production line is the result of 27-month-long efforts and a $194 million investment,” he said. The local production rate of i20 automobiles to be manufactured here is over 60 percent, and this rate will increase over time,” he added.

The minister also said Turkey aimed to create an ecosystem to produce critical parts like electric engines, inverters, charging devices and compressors.

Turkey, which has developed a battery-powered car, SUV, tractor and excavator over the past year, has its sight set on electricity-powered vehicle technologies.

The automotive sector is the locomotive for Turkey’s industry sector and offers advantages for other sectors as well, he said, noting that industrial production expanded by double digits in May and June.

Varank highlighted that Turkey aims to be the largest electric and autonomous vehicle producer in Europe and one of the top five in the world by 2030.

South Korean Ambassador to Ankara Choi Hong Ghi, said Hyundai, one of the top five global carmakers, established its first overseas factory in Turkey 23 years ago.

“The Hyundai İzmit Factory is a symbol of economic cooperation between the two countries with its direct contribution to improving employment in Turkey and increasing exports,” he said.

Hyundai Assan CEO Ickkyun Oh said that the company produced over 2 million vehicles in Turkey, mostly for export to European, Middle Eastern and North African countries.

“We will produce 100,000 units of the new i20 model here,” he said.

Electric excavator to be rolled out in 2022

Turkish construction machinery producer Hidromek also announced on Aug. 28 that it would have its electric wheeled excavator ready for buyers within 12 to 18 months.

The seven-ton Hicon 7W is the first in the world to run entirely on electricity and have rubber tires, Hidromek Chairman Mustafa Bozkurt told Anadolu Agency.

The vehicle can be used for eight hours after just 90 minutes charging, Bozkurt said.

He also noted that some 85-90 percent of its parts would be produced via indigenous sources, including its batteries.

The production plant’s building is slated for completion at the end of 2021, while the excavator will hit the market in the first quarter of 2022.

Bozkurt said the Hicon 7W had attracted much attention from Turkey and the wider world, as Hidromek won the 2020 German Design Award and the 2020 IF Product Design Award for the vehicle.

Hidromek, which makes around $100 million of exports annually, is active in 100 countries on six continents. The firm, which has five factories in Turkey, previously purchased Mitsubishi’s grader department in Thailand.

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