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Morocco plans to set up EV battery ‘gigafactory’: minister – EQ Mag Pro

Morocco plans to set up EV battery ‘gigafactory’: minister – EQ Mag Pro


Morocco seeks to boost local production of electric vehicles to respond to the increasing global demand for electric and hybrid vehicles amid a surge in fuel prices.

Rabat : In a bid to accelerate local electric vehicle manufacturing, Morocco has negotiated the set up of an electric vehicle battery with leading manufacturers.

“We hope to sign a deal for the plant before the end of this year,” Morocco’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Ryad Mezzour told Reuters on the sidelines of the US-Africa Business Summit.

Details on potential partners or the number of investments needed for the project are yet to be disclosed but Mezzour referred to the plant as a “gigafactory,” a term closely linked to Tesla, which could also simply highlight its large scale and production capacity.

The plant is set to “offer a huge momentum for the local automotive sector;” benefitting from Morocco’s renewable energy capacity and raw materials such as cobalt and phosphates, Mezzour added.

The minister further noted that Morocco’s leading automotive infrastructure provides additional incentives to EV battery manufacturers.

Morocco is home to production plants for Renault and Stellantis with a total production capacity of 700,000 vehicles that are oriented toward both the domestic and global markets.

Morocco currently hosts over 250 Moroccan automotive manufacturers and part makers, which constitute an integral part of the country’s automotive ecosystem. Their exports have even surpassed Morocco’s phosphate sales over the past seven years, Mezzour noted.

With a recent global surge in demand for electric vehicle batteries, Morocco is planning to dive into this market. Morocco’s plan is backed by an increase in the local production of electric and hybrid vehicles, Mezzour said.

Stellantis’ brand, Citroen, for instance, plans to double the Moroccan production capacity of its supermini electric cars to reach 50,000 units within two years.

In June, Citroen’s limited edition of 50 mini-electric cars sold out in less than 18 minutes.

Poised to compete with China and India, Morocco seeks to increase the integration of its automotive sector by boosting local production of vehicle parts and cutting its reliance on imports. Boosting domestic capacity proved to be necessary following the COVID-19 disruptions of the supply chains which were recently exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

Morocco aims to boost the rate of locally-made car parts directed to export from 65% to 80%, Mezzour said.

Mezzour highlighted that the automotive and aerospace industry are “two drivers of industrial innovation.” Morocco is interested in expanding its network of aerospace industry plants within the country. Currently, the country hosts 140 aerospace industry plants that build roughly 43% of plane components, the minister added.

In 2021, Moroccan aerospace exports reached MAD 16.2 billion ($1.6 billion), up from MAD 13.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2020. Meanwhile, Morocco’s automotive exports amounted to MAD 83.79 billion ($8.24 billion) at the end of December 2021.

Source: PTI
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network