Getting ready for the mass production of its hybrid Transit vehicle, American automotive giant Ford's Turkey branch Ford Otosan will also manufacture the battery used in these vehicles in the company's Gölcük plant located in northern Marmara. Thirty percent of the production will be facilitated through domestically developed technological means.
On its way to becoming the second company to produce hybrid vehicles in Turkey, Ford Otosan is counting the days to mass production. The company will launch hybrid versions of Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom produced in the Kocaeli-Gölcük plant in the first quarter of 2019, while 100 percent electric versions of these vehicles are projected to be manufactured in 2020. Ford Otosan, which plans to produce 1,000 hybrid vehicles in the first stage, will be able to increase capacity up to 10,000 depending on demand. Thus, Ford Otosan will contribute to the American automotive giant's hybrid and electric vehicles project. Ford aims to develop 40 hybrid and electric vehicles with an investment of $4.5 billion by 2022.
Having launched the trial production in late 2018, Ford Otosan will also produce the battery used in these vehicles in Kocaeli. In addition, the company has managed to develop battery technology at its research and development (R&D) center. Ford Otosan, which allocates approximately 3 percent of its turnover for research and development activities every year, employs 1,500 engineers in its R&D center.
Haydar Yenigün, General Manager of Ford Otosan, pointed out they are the first and only company manufacturing batteries in the Turkish automotive industry. Yenigün said the battery in question was developed by Turkish engineers, adding that hybrid vehicles to be produced in Turkey will be exported to European countries, particularly the U.K.
Meanwhile, the test runs of 20 prototype Transit Custom hybrid vehicles have been successfully completed in the U.K. Ford Otosan will give Kocaeli Municipality four vehicles to test hybrids.
The number of companies producing hybrid cars in Turkey will soon rise to three. After Toyota, Oyak Renault and Ford Otosan will also produce hybrid vehicles, making Turkey one of the few countries with hybrid production in the world. Toyota made the first hybrid production took place in Turkey in late 2016. Oyak Renault, which received an incentive in 2017 for hybrid production, will manufacture hybrid engines for the Clio and other models of the brand in its Bursa plant.
The vehicle manufactured by Ford Otosan, featuirng plug-in hybrid technology, has a 117 kW electric engine and 1.0 EcoBoost (120 Hp) engine. The electric engine has a range of 50 km, while the gasoline engine serves as a range extender, meaning it only charges batteries, enabling the vehicle's range to extend up to 500 kilometers.