Daniel Susco
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Behold the Turkish Tesla-Fighter (Except Not Really)

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Turkey’s government has been abuzz these past two weeks for one special car: the Pehlivan Elektrak, an electric car designed with support from the Turkish government. The Elektrak has been on a two-week tour around the Balkans to show it off after winning a competition sponsored by the state. It was originally developed by students at a Turkish university, and has been gathering attention from the likes of the Washington Post, that described the car with the headline “Turkey says its new electric car is better than a Tesla.”

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The country’s Science, Industry, and Technology Minister Fikri Isik was extremely optimistic about the project, telling the Hurriyet Daily News, “Our car will be better and safer than Tesla’s car. While they need to establish charging stations, we will integrate the charging station into the car thanks to a developed engine which extends the car’s range.” He went on to tell the press that, after development, the car will be competitive with ventures from Tesla, Google, and others, then added, “We will need a producer to start manufacturing. We will announce crucial cooperation deals for this part very soon.”

So, what does this miraculous vehicle look like? Well, here’s a video of it scaring the crap out of some pigeons while being loaded into a trailer.

However, the Turkish Tesla is a long way off. The car is still missing crucial technology, specifically the range-extending “charging station” that Isik described, which will apparently be a 1.0-liter two-cylinder generator currently being developed by Turkish engineers. In addition, the car that the students produced is missing some things that conventional cars use, like a rear windshield, and appears to be very light, requiring only a few people to push it up that ramp (not to mention lift it entirely and heave it slightly to one side), which implies that there are other missing components as well.

So, while Turkey’s domestic car makers could soon be pumping out electric vehicles, it seems unlikely that it will be all that soon. As such, please ignore that headline from the Washington Post. The car is clearly not in production, and will most likely not be in the near future.

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News Sources: The Washington Post, The Hurriyet News

Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.