Producing a car in North Cyprus was always a dream that Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel and his associates kept alive. However, the entrance barriers in the conventional automotive world did not allow for new players, so initially, they transferred their passion for cars to different projects. They established the Cyprus Car Museum, which contains over 150 classic cars where each one is more special than the other.
On the other hand, they participated in solar-powered car races by developing solar-powered car projects with the R&D and Project production power of Near East University. They established the most advanced supercomputer in the region and worked on embedded software.
The disruptive innovation in the automotive sector created by the number of electric cars increasing around the world showed them that it was the right time to produce a car, and Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel established GÜNSEL. The experience and knowledge that he and his team had previously obtained laid the foundation for GÜNSEL.
Bringing Net Carbon Emissions to Zero
North Cyprus is located at the centre of the Mediterranean and is a place that has sunshine virtually all year round. When building its manufacturing facilities and R&D centre, GÜNSEL used a design that would enable it to obtain maximum benefit from the sun. At the same time, its work to produce its own electricity using solar energy with the solar panels that it will install on the roof of its facility is continuing.
GÜNSEL Electric Vehicles is carrying out the design and application of the solar panels that will be used together with its team. At the same time, the charging stations that it will establish will also use solar energy to ensure that GÜNSEL is an environmentally-friendly project in its production phase and aims to bring the net carbon emissions to zero.
During the Pandemic
Being an island country was an advantage for North Cyprus during the COVID-19 pandemic as it is physically isolated from the world. After the flights were stopped, GÜNSEL was in an atmosphere where there was minimal spread, and the number of cases was lower in comparison to more populated countries. Therefore, the company was able to resume its production and development activities by taking the necessary precautions. It continued its development studies for the B9 and J9 models and facility investments. However, due to the nature of this sector, it is working together with 800 suppliers from different parts of the world. The problems that its suppliers faced due to the pandemic naturally also affected the company and increased its costs.
Dr. İrfan mentions that the global chip crisis along with other problems encountered during this time including logistic processes have negatively affected the electric car industry.
Having Innovative, Efficient, and Elegant Approach
As a car manufacturer that aims to be 100% electrical with zero emissions, GÜNSEL not only carry this responsibility towards nature and the environment but also towards its customers and workers. The philosophy of GÜNSEL can be summarised in three words: Innovative, Efficient, and Elegant. It not only applies this philosophy to its cars but also to all its shareholders including its workers, suppliers, and customers as an organizational approach.
Meeting Safety, Comfort, Affordability, and Drivability Expectations
Electric automobile producers generally prefer to enter the industry with upper segment car models. However, GÜNSEL has positioned its B9 model in the B segment. Therefore, with the B9, it has produced a more accessible and suitably priced model. However, when doing this, it has also developed a model that meets the expectations from a car such as safety, comfort, and drivability. In addition, the use of its own battery technology, as well as carbon-fibre in the life module of the vehicle, are among the important advantages of the GÜNSEL B9.
Meeting Basic Needs of Society with Education Services
The Near East Enterprise, which also includes GÜNSEL, has been investing in many sectors such as education, health, tourism, finance, industry, and technology, especially the Near East University and the University of Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus for about 45 years. The Near East Enterprise, which employs 6,800 people, is the second-largest source of employment after the state in Northern Cyprus, with a population of 380,000. At the same time, it meets the important basic needs of society with the education services it provides from kindergarten to university, which is one of its main fields of activity and the network of hospitals.
GÜNSEL also preserves the cultural and artistic life of the country with The Cyprus Museum of Modern Arts, including the GÜNSEL Art Museum and the GÜNSEL Office Museum, the Cyprus Car Museum, the Cyprus Natural History and Herbarium, and the Nicosia Walled City Museum. It plans to strengthen this mission with the Maritime History Museum and the Cyprus Archaeology Museum, which are still in the pipeline. In addition, GÜNSEL trains its own talents by providing training for young people who want to join the sector with the GÜNSEL Academy, which it has established within GÜNSEL.
Not Just an Electric Car Manufacturer
The island of Cyprus is a very suitable place for electric cars with its short distances and solar power potential. With the models GÜNSEL produces, it aims to grow as a zero-emission, comfortable and accessible brand, firstly in country, then in region and other target markets. However, GÜNSEL has not been positioned purely as an electric car manufacturer. It is also an energy, technology, and service provider based on new technologies. Its aim is not just to manufacture and sell automobiles, but it also positions itself as a transportation service provider. With the widespread use of autonomous vehicle technologies, it will highlight this goal in a much more visible way.
GÜNSEL uses battery technology that it has developed itself. By applying this technology to different areas, it aims to create a structure that can store and transfer the electricity it produces from solar energy at different scales. In addition, it also aims to create new employment opportunities in its country by pioneering the establishment of primary automotive industry and sub-industry for the first time in Northern Cyprus.