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Turkish Cypriots to build first electric car

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A team from a university in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus say they have produced the first electric car on the island with manufacturers aiming to start mass production in 2021.

According to reports, a team from the Near East University in Nicosia have put together the electric car called Gunsel after a decade of working on the project.

Head of the university, Dr Irfan Suat Gunsel said the car was built in collaboration with 800 people involved in the car industry from 28 countries.

Some 109 mechanics and scientists spent 1.2 million manhours on building the prototype model B9, which will be presented to the public on 20 February.

Turkish daily Milliyet said the team plans to start mass production of the prototype in 2021 when they are to start producing 2,000 cars a year, increasing production to 20,000 in 2025.

It said the electric cars are to be built in facilities within the university’s campus.

Meanwhile, Turkey unveiled its first fully domestically produced TOGG cars at the end of 2019, aiming to eventually produce up to 175,000 a year of the electric vehicle in a project expected to cost 22 billion lira ($3.7 billion) over 13 years.

The cars’ producers a consortium called Turkey’s Automobile Initiative Group (TOGG), had presented a red SUV and a grey Sedan at an unveiling ceremony.

The project has been a long-time goal of President Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party as a demonstration of the country’s growing economic power.

Turkey is already a big exporter to Europe of cars made domestically by firms such as Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, Renault, Toyota and Hyundai.