Morocco in talks with investors to build EV battery gigafactories, says minister

By bne IntelliNews April 5, 2024

The Moroccan government is in extensive talks to attract more electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturers to support its growing automotive sector and meet soaring demand, industry and trade minister Ryad Mezzour said on April 5.

Morocco and China's Gotion agreed in 2023 to explore opportunities to build a $6.3bn electric vehicle battery plant in the country. Discussions on the projects are advancing, Mezzour said. Talks are also ongoing with five other manufacturers to set up similar gigafactories, the minister said, adding that the next steps would be the car platform and the electro-motor.

By 2030, EVs made in Morocco are planned to represent up to 60% of its exported cars, ahead of the EU's 2035 fossil-fuel car ban, Mezzour said, pointing to his government’s keenness to create a competitive and integrated value chain.

The automotive sector tops Morocco's industrial exports at $14bn in 2023, up 27% y/y. The industry is the largest in Africa and is a key sector of the Moroccan economy. It is expected to account for nearly one-quarter of GDP following a steady rise in recent years.

The Moroccan automotive sector, which created over 220,000 jobs in 2023, has been successfully transforming from basic vehicle assembly to a comprehensive manufacturing sector with a potential to produce 1mn cars a year by 2030 from 700,000 currently and elevating the local integration rate to 80% from 60% currently. 

In the past two years, Morocco signed tens of trade agreements with different car manufacturers in the EU, China, and the US in a bid to boost the automotive sector and meet the demand for passenger vehicles. The country attracted main global players like German Motor Distributors, Renault, Snop, Stellantis Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, and Yazak

In late March, the Moroccan government agreed with Chinese electric battery maker BTR New Material Group to build a $300mn factory near Tangier to produce key component cathodes. CNGR Advanced Material will also build a cathode plant in Jorf Lasfar, south of Casablanca.

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