The rollout of charging infrastructure and electric vehicles in Morocco is still in its early stages. However, sustainability ambitions are high and the electrification of the fleet should start contributing to that. Fortunately, the country does not need to reinvent the wheel itself and can learn from countries that have taken the lead. That is why EVConsult was commissioned by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) to write a Roadmap that works in phases toward a comprehensive EV ecosystem for charging infrastructure and electric vehicles.
Morocco is nearly 20 times the size of the Netherlands and is home to 26 million people. The North African country currently has 120 charging stations, 5 of which are fast chargers, and the share of electric vehicles there is still under 1 percent. Moreover, the composition of the fleet is different than in the Netherlands: there is a lot of driving of 2- and 3-wheelers, cab use is high and many passenger cars are in company fleets.
Netherlands vs Morocco
From these data alone, it can be seen that preparing a Roadmap for Morocco is totally different from our country. The “default setting” there is nothing like that of the Netherlands. In our country, with the National Charging Infrastructure Agenda (NAL), the government sets the frameworks within which municipalities and provinces can give their own interpretation to the outlines drawn up for the rollout of charging infrastructure. The government directs and the market takes charge of the actual realization, operation and management. In Morocco, the still limited rollout of charging infrastructure is currently being taken up by private parties, without a framing government to accelerate the rollout. In addition, the energy company is owned by the state, which also takes care of the energy supply. Sale of energy by third parties is not allowed, while this is privatized in our country.
Although the initial situation differs, there are more than enough opportunities based on our knowledge and experience to realize an EV ecosystem in Morocco that fits the needs and starting points of the country. The country has an excellent road network and is a world player in the production of cars. Morocco is expected to be the largest car producer in Africa by 2030. Moreover, it is rich in phosphorus producers, as by far most of the phosphate is located in Morocco. This is important and a unique opportunity is for battery production for EVs and local storage of electricity in the power grid. Thereby, the share of renewable energy is growing strongly in Morocco’s energy mix due to the huge amount of solar energy the country produces.
Morocco has a clear goal: 52% renewable energy by 2030. This is high on the new government’s agenda and is reflected, among other things, in the ambition to deploy cleaner forms of mobility. After extensive research by EVConsult, the team created a detailed Roadmap with actions, roles and responsibilities and a timeline. In the short term (2022-2025), it recommends a location proposal for the fast charging network and initial preparations for issuing public transport tenders for electric buses. A central role, as we have in the Netherlands from the government, is desirable. Therefore, the roadmap recommends implementing some form of centralization for the coordination of actions and for knowledge sharing. A – yet to be established – central government committee is the answer. That committee will bring together key stakeholders from both the public and private EV sector. It will also be a knowledge center where, in addition to knowledge sharing, training for technical staff will be organized centrally, where frameworks will be set for the introduction of environmental zones in cities and where subsidies will be issued to stimulate the growth of EVs.
Hybrid market model
A hybrid market model is recommended for the rollout of charging infrastructure. In that model, the Moroccan state takes the lead and thus plays a major role in the rollout of charging infrastructure in the short term. In the long term, between 2025 and 2030, market players can take more tasks off the government’s hands, including operation. In this way, the government itself takes the reins in a centralized and accelerated scaling up of the charging infrastructure and provides an economic boost by growing companies in this sector. This step introduces a national charging plan. By then, a public charging network has already been rolled out in five major cities, with 60 percent of the charging infrastructure coming from local production facilities. In the phase that follows, the market of EVs and charging infrastructure will be further optimized, more adopted by the market and scaled up to public infrastructure in every Moroccan city.
The Roadmap provides concrete tools to realize the Moroccan government’s sustainability ambitions. Moreover, this approach boosts the local economy and offers numerous opportunities to collaborate with other African countries and beyond.