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Gotion High-Tech Signs MOU for Big Battery Factory in Morocco

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The Morocco Agency for Investments and Exports announced this week that Morocco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gotion High-Tech for the development and establishment of an industrial ecosystem for the production of batteries for electric vehicles as well as for stationary storage applications. The Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, presided over the signing ceremony of the MOU. The MOU between Morocco and Gotion High Tech seeks to define the scope of the gigafactory project as well as the associated ecosystem.

The MOU was signed by the Minister Mohcine Jazouli, the Moroccan Investment and Export Development Agency, and Gotion High-Tech. It is the first step towards the signing of an investment agreement for the project that would be close to 65 billion dirhams (US$6.4 billion) which will create more than 25,000 new jobs in Morocco. The Minister for Investment, Convergence and Evaluation of Public Policy said, “This Memorandum is a necessary first step prior to the signing of an investment agreement, which should allow for the launch of a Gigafactory capable of consolidating the country’s position in the automotive sector.”

The President of Gotion High-Tech, Mr. Li Zhen, said, “The group looks forward to contributing to the global development of green mobility solutions. Gotion is also prepared to collaborate with Morocco on this project to contribute to decarbonization and the development of innovative energy solutions.”

Image courtesy of Morocco Agency for Investments and Exports

Reports say the plan is to have a gigafactory with an annual capacity of about 100 GWh. This would be a really positive development for Morocco and the continent of Africa. Morocco has been growing its automotive sector, and already several international OEMs have assembly plants in the country. Morocco wants to be the leading producer of motor vehicles on the continent, and these plans for the establishment of a big battery factory will put it in a strong position to really grow its automotive sector, given the global push toward electric mobility.

The Citroen Ami, an all-electric small city car, is already made in Morocco and exported to several European countries. It is also used locally by companies such as the Morocco Post for last-mile deliveries. It has a sibling called the Opel Rocks-e which is produced at Stellantis’ plant in Kenitra, Morocco.

Stellantis is also opening a factory in Algeria. Algeria is positioned as one of the key contributors to Stellantis’ Middle East and Africa (MEA) Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan. As the automotive manufacturing and assembly sector grows in North Africa, it could create a critical mass to host a battery factory in the region.

There is also a big market for scooters in Morocco for both personal transportation and delivery services. There are currently over 2 million internal combustion engine scooters in Morocco. Companies like E-Moto are working to help transition this fleet to electric. Rising fuel costs have been a big factor in recent times, as these have helped solidify the business case for consumers to switch to electric scooters. For example, for one to go 100 km on an ICE scooter at the current fuel prices of $1.3 per liter, one needs to spend around $4, compared to about $0.40 to go the same distance on an electric scooter at the current electricity prices of $0.15/kWh in Morocco. So, it’s 10x cheaper to ride electric! Then there is maintenance as well, where on an ICE scooter one generally spends $7 to $8 per 1,000 km on oil changes, etc., whereas on an electric scooter one only spends about $15 for every 5000 km. A local battery factory could help provide cells for these scooters as well, helping to increase the local content of locally assembled scooters.

Gotion High-Tech recently launched its L600 Astroinno LMFP battery cell and pack at the 12th Gotion Technology Conference in Hefei, China. The manganese-doped LMFP Astroinno battery is capable of powering an electric car for up to 1000 kilometers. It’s really great to see one of the big players in the battery industry looking to set up battery production ecosystems in Africa.

 
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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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