A gigafactory is a large manufacturing facility that manufactures lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, electric vehicles (EVs), as well as other battery-powered gadgets on an enormous scale. Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla, came up with the phrase to describe his facilities, of which he has built four and is currently building a fifth. However, the term “gigafactory” has become more generalized and now refers to any significant battery manufacturing facility, not only Musk’s. Since gigafactories assist in addressing the issue of EV battery supply in their nations, several have encouraged investors who seek to establish them. Nothing special about Morocco.
Morocco has discussed the establishment of an electric vehicle (EV) battery with top manufacturers in an effort to hasten the domestic production of electric vehicles. At the US-Africa Business Summit, Morocco’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Ryad Mezzour told Reuters, “We want to complete a deal for the facility before the end of this year.”
Mezzour called the plant a “gigafactory,” a term commonly associated with Tesla, which might potentially just be used to underline its vast scale and manufacturing capability. Details on prospective partners or the amount of capital required for the project have not yet been made public.
According to Mezzour, the factory will “provide a great push for the local automotive sector,” taking advantage of Morocco’s capacity for producing renewable energy and its access to resources like cobalt and phosphates. The minister added that Moroccan manufacturers of EV batteries benefit from additional advantages due to the country’s excellent automobile infrastructure.
Manufacturing facilities for Renault and Stellantis, geared toward both the domestic and international markets, are located in Morocco and have a combined manufacturing capacity of 700,000 automobiles. At present, Morocco is home to around 250 Moroccan automakers and component producers, which are a crucial component of the nation’s automotive ecosystem. In the past 7 years, Mezzour remarked, their exports have even outpaced Morocco’s phosphate sales.
Morocco intends to enter this industry due to a recent rise in demand for EV (electric vehicle) batteries worldwide. The local manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles has increased, supporting Morocco’s aim, according to Mezzour. Citroen, a brand of Stellantis, for example, intends to increase the Moroccan manufacturing capacity of its supermini electric cars by 50% to reach 50,000 units in the next two years.
The 50 mini-electric cars that were available in June as part of a limited edition were all sold out in just 18 minutes. By increasing the local manufacture of auto parts and reducing its reliance on imports, Morocco, which is positioned to compete with China and India, intends to strengthen the integration of its own automotive sector. The COVID-19 supply chain issues, which were recently made worse by the conflict in Ukraine, showed that expanding domestic capacity was vital.
Mezzour stated that Morocco wants to increase the percentage of domestically produced auto parts going overseas from 65 to 80 percent. Mezzour noted that the aerospace and automotive sectors are “two drivers of industrial innovation,” and that Morocco is keen to increase the number of aerospace plants located inside its borders. According to the minister, there are already 140 aerospace industry facilities in the nation, which produce about 43% of all plane parts.