Tesla to launch in Turkey this year: CEO

By Ovunc Kutlu

NEW YORK (AA) – Electric carmaker Tesla plans to launch in Turkey, its chief executive said late Thursday.

“Btw, planning to launch Tesla in Turkey later this year, ” Elon Musk said in a post on his Twitter account.

“Love your country & will be there in person for the launch, ” he added.

The company produced more than 300,000 electric vehicles as of February.

The Model S, its most popular car, has sold more than 200,000 units so far and was the world’s best-selling electric vehicle in 2015 and 2016.

The firm released two more models — the Model X SUV and Model 3 sedan — in September 2015 and July 2017, respectively.

Last year, the company also unveiled its electric truck – the Tesla Semi.

Turkey had a total of nearly 12.2 million registered cars by the end of March, according to the most recent data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK).

There were 729,500 new passenger car registrations in Turkey last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, compared with 15.1 million in the European Union.

While Turkey is highly dependent on oil imports, electric cars could provide some relief for its gasoline consumption.

There are a few hundred Tesla owners in Turkey, who order the cars from abroad.

But the low number of charging stations and limited services are some of the biggest hurdles for the electric vehicle market in the country, according to experts.