The first plant for the production of lithium-ion batteries for the automotive industry in Turkey is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2022.

The company under construction in Gemlik, not far from Istanbul on the eastern shore of the Marmara Sea, is owned half by the Chinese battery manufacturer Farasis Energy and the Turkish electric car manufacturer TOGG.

Andreas Mihm

Business correspondent for Austria, East-Central and Southeastern Europe and Turkey based in Vienna.

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TOGG also builds its cars in the immediate vicinity.

The contract for the joint venture SIRO, which was announced in 2020, has now been signed, the companies announced.

The talk is about an annual capacity of 20 gigawatt hours, which would come close to the two Chinese plants operated by Farasis - a third for 24 gigawatt hours is under construction.

A billion-dollar project

Investors are silent about the investment volume in Turkey, it is likely to be heavily subsidized by the Turkish government.

For comparison: the battery factory planned by Tesla near Berlin for 50 gigawatt hours is expected to cost 5 billion euros.

SIRO will develop and produce batteries that will be used, among other things, but not only in the vehicles planned by TOGG, it said.

In a first step, battery modules and packs should only be assembled and manufactured.

The battery cells required for this would come from Farasis Energy.

In a further step, however, it is planned to also manufacture the battery cells in Gemlik, Turkey.

Therefore, in addition to the SIRO battery plant, a research and development center is being set up in Bilisim Vadisi near Gebze to bring lithium-ion NMC batteries based on Farasis Energy's innovative technology to the market.

No more talk of Germany

Electric SUVs in Europe.

"With the joint venture between Farasis Energy and TOGG, a new era is dawning in the electrification of Turkey", Farasis founder and CEO Yu Wang was quoted as saying.

For Farasis Energy, the establishment of the joint venture is "another important milestone in the development and expansion of an international and European strategic network." Farasis had also planned the construction of a battery factory in Bitterfeld in Saxony-Anhalt, which, however, has been delayed considerably.

The Germany plans were not mentioned in the communication.

TOGG CEO G├╝rcan Karaka, a former Bosch manager, called battery technology crucial.

"Our goal is not only to produce batteries for electric vehicles in Turkey with SIRO, but also to expand the research and development skills of batteries in our country."

The newly founded manufacturer TOGG with 2 billion dollars from private and semi-public Turkish investors wants to bring the first series vehicle to the Turkish market at the end of 2022.

TOGG wants to produce one million vehicles with five different models on a common platform by 2030.