Electric cars offer Turkish motorists cheaper, affordable alternative

Electric cars offer Turkish motorists cheaper, affordable alternative

Taylan Özgür Dil- ISTANBUL
Electric cars offer Turkish motorists cheaper, affordable alternative

Motorists in Turkey are increasingly turning to electric vehicles as driving a car has become more costly due to higher gasoline prices.

Gasoline prices nearly doubled in the past year in Turkey, which means car owners need to allocate a larger portion of their income to commute.

The monthly gasoline cost of a car, which travels some 500 kilometers on the roads of the city, is now some 3,660 Turkish Liras (around $247) on average, whereas an owner of an electric car pays 756 liras to cover energy cost of the vehicle.

There are presently around 4,000 charging stations across Turkey, and 1,500 of them are privately owned. The demand for setting up such stations at homes or offices has been growing in the last months amid the rising gasoline prices.

The range of an electric car with a 60kWh battery is around 350 kilometers. It is calculated that if a car used in city traffic travels some 2,000 kilometers that means a monthly power consumption of 400 kWh. If the car is charged at a station installed at a house, the cost of the electricity is 1.89 liras/kWh (based on the current electricity prices), which totals to 756 liras a month.

If a charging station, which is installed at businesses, is used, the cost increases slightly to around 1,100 liras since businesses pay 2.74 liras per kilowatts hour of electricity.

The network of charging stations operated by private companies on the intercity highways and in the cities is also expanding fast. The charging fees at those stations are two to three times higher than the stations at houses because of the costs associated with running such facilities.

To have a charging station installed at a detached house costs around 17,000 liras, while the price of a station that serves up to four car owners is around 70,000 liras, according to experts from Zorlu Energy Solutions (ZES).

The latest automotive sales data reflect the growing interest in electric vehicles in Turkey.

In March this year, 638 electric vehicles were sold in the country, which pointed to a 267 percent increase from a year ago. The share of electric cars in total vehicle sales was still low at 1.3 percent. In the month, hybrid car sales, however, declined by 3.4 percent on an annual basis to 6,024 units, accounting for 12 percent of all vehicle sales.

In 2021, 2,486 electric vehicles were sold in Turkey, but in January-March alone this year, 1,073 electric cars were already sold on the local market, rising 244 percent from the first quarter of last year.

Hybrid car sales fell by 17 percent to 11,227 units, which made up less than 10 percent of all automotive sales.