With the Gigafactory project for the production of electric car batteries, announced on July 21 in Marrakesh by Riad Mazour, Morocco is part of The ruthless shift in the global auto industry towards electricity.
The Minister of Industry and Trade has repeatedly expressed his desire to see Morocco quickly integrate into the restrictive circle of electric car-producing countries. In fact, it has already done so with production at the Stellantis plant in Kenitra; Citroën Ami and Opel Rocks-e models. Initiatives are multiplying to provide Morocco with the necessary conditions to win this bet.
Electric battery industry, announced success?
“The next logical step in developing our automotive industrial platform is the introduction of the battery, as our main market (the European Union) has made important announcements regarding the mobility transition, a complete shift towards electrification,” said Riad. 24, on the sidelines of the US-Africa Business Summit.
As it was announced Discussions were open with four to five operatorsWhich may lead, before the end of the year, to the installation of a Giga battery factory in Morocco, which will serve the factories of the Kingdom and the factories of neighboring countries.
On June 2, marking the signing of an agreement between the group Renault And mines, Riad Mazour has already argued that a process is underway to develop the electric battery sector.
Under this agreement, the Moroccan mining group will supply the French manufacturer with cobalt Which will be used in the production of electric batteries. Although it is not clearly announced, Everything indicates that this battery factory will be based in MoroccoOn this occasion, Mohamed Bachiri, director of Renault Morocco, announced that the level of integration will include, for the first time, raw materials extracted from Moroccan soil.
In fact, Morocco is a producer of cobalt, nickel and phosphateMetals used in the manufacture of electric batteries. However, for lithium, he will have to get supplies from abroad.
And this is without regard to speculation about the possible presence of Mount Tropic or possible discoveries of lithium in southern Morocco. On the other hand, the Kingdom has very good relations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chile, which hold nearly 50% of the world’s reserves of cobalt and lithium, respectively.
Since Morocco already has a well-established automobile industry and large production plants for renewable energy (which requires new generation batteries for storage), the electric battery industry already has a large domestic market. If we add capabilities of raw materials, Morocco has every chance to break into this industry of the future.
A breakthrough in the strategic part of semiconductors
Aside from batteries, another strategic part of the auto industry concerns electronic chips or semiconductors. With advances in safety systems, autonomous driving and the Internet of Things (IOT), cars Real computers on wheels.
a Tesla can hold up to 3000 chips For a hundred classic cars. With the electrification and automation of cars, the sector’s demand for semiconductors will triple by 2028.
After the sudden and significant recovery of the global economy in the wake of the Covid crisis, the automotive sector has been the hardest hit by the shortage of semiconductors; The current offering is mainly sold in the electronics market, smartphones in particular, which offer higher profit margins.
In this complex context, Morocco has nevertheless been able to make significant progress in this high-tech industry thanks to one of the major players in the market, ST . Microelectronics. The plant of the French-Italian multinational company in Bouskoura, with an investment of $ 250 million, was prepared in particular to accommodate new technologies that allow it to manufacture Latest generation chips.
The plant, which supplies US giant Tesla, has enlisted about 700 people since 2021. It currently employs nearly 3,300 people and is planning major developments, according to its general manager Fabrice Gomez.
He announced on the occasion of the opening of the new production line that “the future of this plant lies in the growth of electric vehicles, with many jobs and huge investments in the coming years.” “Boskoura is now one of the group’s main locations for electric vehicles, to serve European customers in the very near future.”
Morocco can be proud of it Among the few countries with semiconductor manufacturing for electric carin the context of a global shortage that threatens the entire sector.
The world is on a forced march towards electricity
Today, the famous American manufacturer of electric cars represents Tesla, which revolutionized the market Biggest market valuation – by far – Among the car manufacturers. If the impact of speculation is not insignificant, it nevertheless shows that financial markets believe that the future of the sector lies in electricity.
The two plants located in Morocco, Renault-Nissan and Stellantis, entered the era of electricity very early on. Morocco offers them exceptional competitiveness. Today, the two best-selling models in Europe, the Dacia Sandero and Peugeot 208, come from Moroccan factories.
If Morocco wants to claim such a high rate of integration into the electric car, it will necessarily have to manufacture batteries; Because this could represent At least 30% of the value of the electric careven if its price is constantly declining thanks to the development of technology.
According to official figures, Europe accounts for nearly 80% of Moroccan car exports. However, last June 8, the European Union Parliament adopted the text that Banning the sale of new thermal cars in Europe from 2035. Targets for reducing intermediate vehicle emissions are set at -15% by 2025 and -55% by 2030.
If Morocco wants to maintain its market share at the level of its main market, it has to manage its transformation. Especially since most European countries offer incentives in the form of subsidies and bonuses for the purchase of electric cars. In France, the champion in this field, these amounts reach 11,000 euros.
Rachid El Yazami: Here are the conditions for the success of the lithium battery production project in Morocco