Morocco’s EV scene is making some good progress. Morocco wants to be a leader in the automotive industry in Africa. The Moroccan automotive industry represented 27.6% of the kingdom’s exports in 2019. Keeping up with key trends in the global automotive industry will ensure that such a key pillar of Morocco’s economy will continue to grow and also safeguard it from obsolescence. European markets, which are a key target for exports, have set deadlines for the phaseout of ICE (internal combustion engine) cars. Therefore, having a strong EV manufacturing road map has now become even more critical.
There have been several important developments over the last few years to enhance the automotive sector in the country, and especially the EV sector. The Citroen Ami is made in Morocco and exported to Europe. Morocco Post was one of first customers for our little electric friend. The Citroen Ami also has a cargo version. These types of small EVs are perfect for last mile applications in the logistics industry. The Ami is produced at Stellantis’ Kenitra plant which has a production capacity of 200,000 vehicles per year, including a production capacity of over 20,000 units per year for the Citroen Ami. The adorable Citroen Ami has a 5.5 kWh battery, a 6 kW motor, and a top speed of 45 km/h. The cargo version of the Ami can carry goods of about 140 kilograms.
STMicroelectronics opened a Research & Development and manufacturing facility in the city of Bouskoura. The facility has a dedicated production line for electronic chips for Tesla. This auto chip production line dedicated to electric vehicles will help position Morocco as a hub for EV production as well as a strategic player in the semiconductor supply chain.
Morocco is also the only country in Africa to have Tesla’s supercharging network. There are quite a number of Tesla enthusiasts in Morocco who have independently imported Teslas that make up a critical mass to support the supercharging business in the country. Another major factor is that Morocco is close to Europe and is a popular destination for European tourists who drive their Tesla to the country.
Now in another awesome development for the country’s EV sector, BYD has just announced that it has partnered with Auto Nejma, a subsidiary of the Hakam Family Group in Casablanca. Auto Nejma Maroc SA, started in 1963 by the Hakam family, imports and markets vehicles, spare parts, and automotive accessories. Auto Nejma is also the exclusive representative of the Mercedes-Benz passenger and commercial vehicles, SsangYong, and Mahindra brands in Morocco. Auto Nejma’s network includes 5 branches in Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat, Tangier, and Oujda, and 2 dealers in Agadir and Meknes. It also works with several approved garages in Casablanca, Kénitra, Marrakech, Nador, and Tangier.
It’s great to see BYD officially entering another market in Africa. I’m looking forward to seeing which models BYD will launch with in Morocco. For now, it looks like BYD through its local partners will be bringing in fully built vehicles. However, given Morocco’s push to be a leader in Africa’s auto industry, there could be a move to assemble the vehicles in country in the near future. Let’s wait and see.
BYD have been expanding its oversees presence through smart partnerships with local players in different parts of the world including several countries in Africa. BYD has partnered with the LEAL Group in Mauritius. BYD also has partners in Zimbabwe for commercial and passenger vehicles, such as the BYD T3 electric van and the BYD e6 with Blade Battery. More BYD models will be launched soon in the Zimbabwean market. In Kenya, BYD commercial electric vans are available to lease from Equator mobility.
BYD has recently launched some of its EV models in India, Thailand, Laos, Nepal, Cambodia, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Australia as well as several countries in Europe. The line-up in these countries includes the critically acclaimed BYD Atto 3. BYD will soon be producing at least 300 000 EVs per month to support local and international demand. BYD are on a major export drive and we hope to see more markets in Africa and other parts of the world being launched. Exciting times ahead.
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