Turkiye: New rules for EV imports irk industry

Representatives from the auto industry have voiced concerns over new regulations on EV imports, stating that cars may sit idle at customs for months before entering the Turkish market.

According to a Trade Ministry decree published in the Official Gazette last month, companies importing EVs must have authorized service stations in seven regions of the country, open a call center with at least 40 Turkish-speaking personnel and have a representative in Türkiye.

The new rules are set to take effect as of Dec. 29, and imports from the EU and countries having free-trade agreements with Türkiye are exempt from the decree.

The rules, which will also apply to existing EV-importing companies, will particularly hit EV imports from China, according to people from the auto industry.

If a company fails to meet all requirements, it won’t be granted the necessary permission, and cars will have to wait at the customs, maybe for months.

The biggest problem for the existing import companies is establishing at least 20 service stations in seven regions, which is a difficult task for those companies given that less than three weeks are left to launch all those facilities, they said.

There are almost no companies in the country that have their own service station networks.

There is a risk that imported cars will have to wait at customs for a long time, said Kağan Dağtekin, the CEO of Doğan Trend Otomotiv, which imports MG brand cars.

They are working to meet the deadline to avoid such a risk, Dağtekin said.

The number of passenger cars imported from China exceeded 51,000 in the January-November period, capturing a 6 percent share in the Turkish market, according to the Automotive Distributors and Mobility Association (ODMD).

However, most of those vehicles 35,000 – are the gasoline-powered vehicles of the Chinese brand Chery, whereas 15,000 EVs were imported from China.

Türkiye’s EV market has been expanding fast, as over 60,000 EVs were sold in the first 11 months of 2023, including 11,600 Tesla Model Y and 13,752 Togg, pointing to a staggering 867 percent increase from a year ago.

EVs accounted for 7.1 percent of all vehicle sales in January-November.

Meanwhile, Tesla is working on expanding its network of supercharging stations in Türkiye amid complaints about an insufficient number of charging and service stations.

The U.S. carmaker is looking for locations in Ankara, İzmir, Antalya and Istanbul to install new charging stations.

It plans to set up 48 new charging stations on the Istanbul-İzmir highways alone while increasing the number of service vehicles from currently 10 to 20 in the coming months.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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