Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for Turkey
Electric vehicles have become one of the most important elements of the technological development and digital transformation period we are in. These vehicles are becoming increasingly important both in the fight against climate change as a result of their contribution to reducing carbon emissions and in terms of the economic impact they create by being at the center of the e-mobility ecosystem.
The dissemination of electric vehicles has been adopted as a strategic goal for our country. The use of electric vehicles instead of conventional internal combustion vehicles will have a significant impact on the achievement of our country’s goals in this area, which has demonstrated its determined approach to combating climate change. In addition, the spread of electric vehicles will be a lever for the development of the technology ecosystem that develops the main industry, supply industry and value-added products and services in this newly developing field.
One of the most determining factors in the prevalence of electric vehicles in a country is the level of public charging opportunities. In order to achieve the targeted rapid expansion of electric vehicles in our country, it is of great importance that the charging infrastructure reach a minimum level in provinces and districts. In the use of electric vehicles, which is still in its infancy, this issue is decisive in terms of consumer orientations and preferences.
In parallel with the growth of the electric vehicle stock in the coming years, there will be a rapid increase in the number of charging stations. As a result of a significant investment, a large sector will be created where services are offered at tens of thousands of points. Another critical issue is that this sector, which is at the beginning of its structuring, has a sustainable structure that will serve the development of electric vehicles. In this respect, the dynamics of the sector should be guided in a way that contributes to the development of the mobility ecosystem in the long run, within the free market principles.
The rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles throughout the country in Turkey and the establishment of a healthy and sustainable structure in the sector in the long term have been considered as a strategic goal. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Technology and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, a development plan for electric vehicle charging infrastructure has been prepared for Turkey with the active participation of the relevant public institutions, especially the Energy Market Regulatory Authority and the Turkish Standards Institute, and the intense contribution of the private sector.
Why Electric Vehicle?
As it is known, high carbon emissions are the leading causes of climate change. A significant part of carbon emissions originates from transportation vehicles. However, transportation vehicles that emit carbon not only cause climate change, but also directly threaten human health. A substantial number of people die every year due to air pollution fed by the emissions of transportation vehicles.
Due to these negative effects on human life, it is considered a necessity to replace conventional vehicles with zero-emission vehicles. This transformation has been adopted as a strategic target for our country, which has shown its sense of responsibility towards the whole world by signing the Paris Climate Agreement.
A New Opportunity for Our Country
Turkey is a strong production base in the automotive industry. Our country, which hosts many global automotive brands, also has a very large supply industry. The transformation that started in the global arena is seen as an opportunity for our automotive industry to further strengthen its position. Turkey will be able to increase its weight in the global automotive industry as global brands attract their electric vehicle production to our country and our supplier industry companies act quickly in transformation and create new business potential. However, for Turkey’s domestic automobile brand, which has not been able to find opportunities for many years due to the barriers in the conventional vehicle market, electric vehicle transformation has created the necessary and appropriate basis. In this way, Turkey’s Automobile TOGG was put into practice. Turkey’s Automobile is much more than an automobile project in terms of the transformation of the automotive industry.
It is also important to use the domestic market as a lever in order to increase the electric vehicle production capacity in Turkey. The increase in the number and prevalence of electric vehicles in the country will also create an opportunity for the technology ecosystem. Thanks to the diversified user needs and increasing economies of scale in the market, domestic technology enterprises will have the appropriate ground to develop new products and services. In a technology field that is still in its infancy all over the world, export opportunities will also arise for initiatives that lead innovation. For this reason, it is aimed to popularize electric vehicles in our country in terms of creating an accelerating effect both in the automotive industry and in the field of innovation.
Transition to Electric Vehicles in Turkey
In terms of the prevalence of electric vehicles, it is possible to talk about countries that exhibit early action and aggressive adoption approaches in an area that is still in the early stages of its development. Turkey is not among these countries. However, thanks to developments such as the production of electric vehicles at more accessible costs, the increase in diversity on the supply side, and the reduction of barriers such as charging possibilities and charging range, the scaling stage for electric vehicles has been reached. As of the 2020s, there will be a rapid increase in the production and use of electric vehicles in our country and in the world.
In our country, an important tax advantage is provided for the widespread use of electric vehicles. In the special consumption tax on electric vehicle purchases, there is a taxation starting from 10%, depending on the engine power. In terms of the upper limits of special consumption tax rates, an advantage up to four times is offered compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines. Similarly, a 75% discount is applied to the motor vehicle tax collected every year.
With the effect of these incentives, electric vehicle sales in Turkey have been increasing at an exponential rate in recent months. While the number of newly registered electric vehicles was 2019 in 247, it reached 2020 in 1.623 and 2021 in 3.587. This development shows that the transition to electric vehicles has started with the right timing in Turkey. It is anticipated that this trend will continue in the coming years, especially with the release of our domestically produced vehicles.
In the Mobility Vehicles and Technologies Roadmap prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Technology with the contribution of relevant public institutions and sector actors, a projection including 3 different scenarios for the development of electric vehicles in Turkey, as low, medium and high, was created.
According to this projection, in 2025;
- In the high scenario, annual electric vehicle sales are 180 thousand units and total electric vehicle stock is 400 thousand units,
- In the medium scenario, annual electric vehicle sales are 120 thousand units and total electric vehicle stock is 270 thousand units,
- In the low scenario, annual electric vehicle sales are 65 thousand units and total electric vehicle stock is 160 thousand units.
predicted to happen.
When it comes to 2030;
- In the high scenario, annual electric vehicle sales are 580 units and total electric vehicle stock is 2,5 million units,
- In the medium scenario, annual electric vehicle sales are 420 thousand units and the total electric vehicle stock is 1,6 million units,
- In the low scenario, annual electric vehicle sales are 200 thousand units and total electric vehicle stock is 880 thousand units.
predicted to happen.
Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles
One of the barriers to electric vehicle ownership and use is the restrictions on charging vehicles. In current vehicle models, maximum range remains a feature that still needs to be developed due to the current technological maturity and production costs. In addition to the low range, the long charging times can make charging a problem area for users.
In the light of parameters such as the dominant urbanization pattern in our country, the characteristics of the existing building stock, intercity interaction, and the geographical distribution of the population, basic predictions about the charging infrastructure that should be established in our country in the short, medium and long term have been created. Accordingly, it is predicted that there will be a need for more than 2025 thousand public charging sockets in 30 in Turkey. When the general assumptions in the literature and our country conditions are considered together, it has been accepted that a minimum of 10 charging socket will be needed for every 1 vehicles in our country. In 2030, this number has been determined as 160 thousand.
Of the 2025 thousand charging sockets in 30, at least 8 thousand of them should be able to offer fast charging, again considering our country dynamics. There will be a greater need for high-speed charging infrastructure, especially in intercity traffic and large cities with high population density. The general trend in the world is developing to increase the rate of fast charging within the charging infrastructure. For this reason, it is foreseen that at least 30% of public charging facilities will be installed from fast sockets in the short-medium term. By 2030, it is considered necessary to install at least 50 thousand fast charging sockets in Turkey.
In order for electric vehicles to become widespread in Turkey without encountering any constraints in terms of charging possibilities, these foreseen installations must be realized. These foresights will be considered as adopted targets in terms of public policies.
Charging Service Sector Structuring
With the introduction of electric vehicles, a new sector has emerged: the charging station operator sector. As of today, the sector, which is still at the beginning of its development, is expected to become a large sector with an annual volume of 2030 billion dollars, with over 1,5 thousand charging sockets established with an investment of approximately 165 billion dollars until 1.
In addition to the size it will reach, the sector is important in terms of its potential impact on the automotive sector. Having a decisive effect on consumer preferences in the transition to electric vehicles, it may also make the charging industry a factor that can affect competition in the automotive market. In this respect, it is vital that the sector, which is still at an early stage, is established in a structure that will accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, that is sustainable, fair competition conditions prevail and protects consumer rights.
In this framework, as a result of the studies carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority and the Turkish Standards Institute, a legislative infrastructure has been established that will ensure the development of the charging sector in an efficient and sustainable structure under free market conditions. With the Law No. 25.12.2021 dated 7346, the legal framework for charging services was established in the Electricity Market Law No. 6446. Accordingly, charging service activities have been made subject to license and certificate to be implemented in accordance with the secondary legislation to be issued by EMRA.
Forecasts for Charging Infrastructure Needs
The year 2022 will be an important milestone for our country in the development of electric vehicles. The first production at TOGG, our domestic automobile project, will take place at the end of this year; By 2023, our domestic vehicle will take its place on the roads. However, sales of electric vehicles will increase rapidly.
With the increase in electric vehicles in the domestic market, it will become essential to establish the charging infrastructure throughout the country, even if it is at a minimum level. Public charging service points should be made ready in critical locations, especially in the province, district and road network detail in parallel with domestic vehicle sales.
In order to establish the charging service network at a level that will primarily support the development of electric vehicles in 2023, it is important to create a detailed forecast about electric vehicle sales across the country. From this point of view, a data-based projection covering the years 2023, 2025 and 2030, taking into account parameters such as current conventional and electric vehicle ownership statistics, population and income distribution, has been prepared with the contributions of relevant stakeholders as the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
Accordingly, by 2025, electric vehicles will be sold in more than 81 districts in 90 provinces, where more than 600% of our population lives. In 2030, it is estimated that the prevalence will exceed 95% on the basis of the number of districts.
The distribution of these vehicle sales at the district level will naturally not be homogeneous. Therefore, the need for charging infrastructure in settlements will also differ. In some districts, slow charging service points will be sufficient due to the low number of vehicles, while fast charging stations may be needed in some districts. On the other hand, even if vehicle sales are not foreseen in some cities, it has been evaluated that slow and fast charging points may be needed when intercity travels are taken into account. In the light of these criteria, it is foreseen that there will be a need to establish different numbers of fast charging stations in nearly 300 districts in the short term.
In addition to the need in settlements, the need for charging service points on highways due to domestic mobility should be determined. In this context, using data such as intercity traffic and fuel sales, the charging requirement on the highways has been modeled in detail in the highway section. Accordingly, the need for different numbers of fast charging points has been determined for more than 300 sections of state roads.
These numbers in the district and road section details have been determined to define the minimum prevalence that should be provided throughout the country. Beyond these numbers, it is deemed necessary to reach a charging service network consisting of 2023 fast charging sockets in 3.000 in our country.
Charging Infrastructure Support Program
By the end of 2022 in Turkey, the establishment of a minimum level of charging network should be guaranteed. However, making these investments by the private sector is considered to be critical in terms of sustainability. It is thought that public investments may adversely affect the development of the sector in the long run.
In this regard, a support program has been prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Technology to ensure that the private sector makes the necessary minimum investment. With this program, up to 75% grant support will be given to the fast charging station installation. Within the scope of the program, investment packages are offered for minimum investments determined in district and highway details.