Morocco plans to open an EV battery gigafactory

Morocco plans to open an EV battery gigafactory

Morocco is negotiating with electric-vehicle battery makers to set up a plant in the country to work with its current automotive sector and cobalt output, Industry Minister Ryad Mezzour said.

“We hope to sign a deal for the plant before the end of this year,” the minister said in an interview with Reuters, but declined to name the companies.

He didn’t say how much investment it would require, yet alluded to it as a “gigafactory,” a term generally used for very big production facilities.

The planned factory for for EV batteries will “offer a huge momentum for the local automotive sector” and will profit from the accessibility of renewable energy and raw materials, for example, cobalt and phosphates in the country, he said.

Demand for such batteries is developing outside and within Morocco, where Citroen plans to double its production capacity within two years from 50,000 EVs, Mezzour said.

Morocco is home to Renault and Stellantis production plants, with a combined production capacity of 700,000.

The Dacia Sandero and Peugeot 208 are examples of famous models that are built in Morocco.

“We are targeting 1 million within the next three to four years,” Mezzour said.

Exports by around 250 automakers and providers in Morocco have topped the country’s industrial exports over the past seven years, outperforming phosphate sales.

Up to May this year, Morocco’s automotive sector sales remained at $4.13 billion, up 24 percent.

To increment competitiveness notwithstanding competition from China and India, Morocco intends to build the rate of locally made parts in the cars it exports to 80 percent, up from 65% as of now, Mezzour said.

“The automotive and the aerospace industries are two drivers of industrial innovation in the country,” he added.

Raeesa Sayyad

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