In the "You Gotta Start Somewhere" Department, Turkish government officials are vowing to fund the development of Turkish-made electric vehicles in order to increase regional competitiveness within the alt-fuel world, Hurriyet Daily News says.

Turkey's Science Ministry will buy 200 electric cars within the next five years and will "grant 100 percent in research and development support" for domestic EV makers. The Turkish government says the focus will be on urban EVs that may be used for public transportation, though didn't divulge estimated investment figures or other details.

Either way, the government is pushing for advanced-powertrain development in a Turkish auto industry dominated by four players: Toyota and partnerships that include Ford, Renault and Fiat. About 900,000 vehicles were produced in Turkey in 2009, and the country had a car-to-person ratio of about 1-to-10, according to a 2010 Deloitte report on the Turkish auto industry. That ratio compares to 1-to-2 in Germany and almost 1-to-1 in the US.


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