BYD Launches Big EV Project in Turkey


Chinese original equipment manufacturer BYD has agreed with the Turkish government to build a US$1 billion electric vehicle production line in the country. The announcement came on the heels of new European Union tariffs on inexpensive imported Chinese EVs.

Turkey is Europe’s third-largest automaker and produces 1.4 million cars per year for major OEMs including Ford, Renault, Fiat and Hyundai. It also produces its own EV car called Togg.

Producing electric and hybrid vehicles in Turkey could allow BYD, the world’s biggest EV producer, to continue to access European markets after the EU imposed temporary tariffs on electric vehicles from China in a bid to protect the continent’s automobile industry.

The new tariffs range from 17.4% to 37.6%, which are on top of an existing 10% duty on imports of Chinese EVs. Turkey’s industry minister, Mehmet Kacir, said at a signing ceremony with BYD officials on July 8 that the deal could ease access to European markets, because Turkey has a customs union agreement with the bloc.

The BYD plant plans to produce 150,000 electric and hybrid vehicles annually and include an R&D center.

As EVs start to take over Europe’s production lines, there will be a contraction in the number of internal combustion engine vehicles that need conventional lubricants.

Greater production of electric vehicles not only threatens demand for factory fill engine oils and transmission fluids, but also metalworking fluids, used to produce the many metal parts found in conventional engines but not in electric motors.

According to the most recent figures gathered from Petder, Turkey’s hydrocarbons industry association, automotive lubricant demand stood at 276,000 metric tons in 2021, or 50% of all finished lubricants. Industrial lubricant demand was 228,000 tons and grease demand of 21,000 tons.

Separately, Turkish officials have said China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group is in talks with Togg over a joint production venture and that its top management plans to visit Turkey in July to discuss investment possibilities.

 [MOU1]Is Petder Turkish? Is this for the Turkish auto industry or the globe?

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Electric Vehicles