Turkey's Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG), which is producing the country’s first fully indigenous electric car, signed a letter of intent with leading lithium-ion (li-ion) battery producing company Farasis Energy for the production and use of battery cells in the full range of TOGG products, the company said in a press release Tuesday.
According to the agreement, battery cells will be provided by Farasis and the battery modules and packs will be jointly developed and produced in Turkey.
The agreement was signed between the board chairpersons of both companies in Bilişim Vadisi (Informatics Valley) in the northwestern Kocaeli province of Turkey.
TOGG CEO Gürcan Karakaş, commenting on the cooperation, said that the agreement was signed as a result of a large-scale evaluation process initiated in 2018 during which more than 30 global battery suppliers have been evaluated, within the framework of confidentiality agreements (NDAs), including possible domestic collaborations.
“Among them, the company that best met our technical, commercial and strategic criteria and one of the world’s leading li-Ion battery manufacturers, Farasis, has been chosen as our business partner,” he said.
Karakaş noted that it is important to produce this technology, which is considered one of the most important and fundamental technologies for electric vehicles today, within the country with an important player in the sector.
“TOGG's mobility ecosystem will become an important regional player that develops technology and creates serious economic value,” he added.
Li-ion batteries are a fundamental component of an electric car.
In addition to supplying batteries, the two companies will also expand their cooperation through a joint venture company, which is set to combine Farasis technology with the country’s automotive industry leaders, to provide battery energy storage solutions for Turkey and the surrounding region.
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, chairperson of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) – the umbrella organization for the TOGG, said in a statement following the signing ceremony that the joint venture established with Farasis “will be an initiative to increase the efficiency of our country's energy system, reduce our country's dependence on foreign energy, and accelerate our development of a clean and efficient energy system.”
“This cooperation will go beyond producing electric vehicle batteries in Turkey and also improve battery R&D competencies in our country, trigger automotive manufacturers to bring their electric vehicle projects to our country and enhance the energy storage business with nonautomotive energy storage products in Farasis' product portfolio,” the TOGG chairperson also said.
He pointed out that the joint venture will form a basis of very important economic value as a representative of the energy company in the region, adding that the TOGG alone will lead the technological transformation in Turkey while contributing to the country's zero-emission future.
'TOGG pioneering initiative'
Farasis co-founder and CEO Yu Wang, who attended the signing ceremony online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Turkey is one of the most important automotive markets in the region.
“Partnering with the TOGG as they prepare to manufacture electric vehicles, building on the advanced and accumulated automotive know-how in Turkey, is a natural step we have taken in line with our basic strategies,” he said, noting that they “value Turkey as the next big market for electrification and thus an ideal location along with the TOGG as a greatly innovative partner doing the right work, at the right time, in the right place, to support the ambitious growth plans of our company.”
“We have signed this letter of intent to meet the demands both in Turkey and in the region. We are excited that this cooperation, which started with the supply of batteries, will turn into a long-term partnership,” Wang added.
The energy company’s head of European organization and business, Sebastian Wolf, who had personally taken part in the signing ceremony, noted that from the very beginning of the cooperation talks with the TOGG, they felt that both companies share the same goal of electrifying the future of individual mobility.
“We expect the Turkish automotive and nonautomotive market to face substantial growth in demand for li-ion batteries,” he said, expressing excitement over partnering with the Turkish automotive joint venture.
The agreement foresees a comprehensive business plan for cooperation between the two countries by 2020 end, while the official establishment of the joint venture company is set for the beginning of 2021.
In June 2018, five industrial giants – Anadolu Group, BMC, Kök Group, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding – joined hands with the umbrella organization TOBB to create the TOGG to realize Turkey’s long-term aim of producing a fully Turkish-made automobile, unveiling prototypes on Dec. 27.
The TOGG will produce five different models – an SUV, sedan, C-hatchback, B-SUV and B-MPV – by 2030 and own the intellectual and industrial property rights to each. Mass production of the SUV will begin in 2022, with the sedan to follow.
Farasis Energy Inc., the predecessor of Farasis Energy Ltd. based in China’s Ganzhou, was founded in the U.S. in 2002, gradually extending its business across China and Europe.
The company has a broad portfolio of battery solutions and global customers in different markets.
Farasis is currently one of the largest manufacturers of pouch cells for the BEV market, with multiple global R&D centers and over 4,000 employees. The company has previously started programs with BAIC, one of the leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of China and Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) on a range of electric vehicle battery solutions.