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Electric Cars market lags in Morocco due to financial costs, Morrocans’ consumption culture

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The demand of Moroccans for electric cars remains limited due to technical reasons and consumption culture, with gasoline and diesel cars continuing to dominate the national market.

The cost of batteries used in electric cars significantly impacts Moroccan consumer interest despite the remarkable increase in foreign investments in this sector, particularly from China.

In April 2023, The Intersectoral Professional Association for Electric Mobility (APIME), announced plans to install 2,500 new charging stations across the country over the next three years, after receiving approval from some automotive companies.

Consumption Psychology

The issue of a “Weak charging network” is also among the factors contributing to the low demand for electric cars in Morocco. Economic experts have noted deep factors related to consumption culture.

This limited demand coincides with the continued rise and fluctuation in fuel prices in the national market. Aziz Barhmi, a professor and researcher in management and international trade at Mohammed V University in Rabat, stated that “the underlying factors lie in the consumption psychology of Moroccans.”

In a statement to Hespress, Barhmi explained that the Moroccan consumer remains loyal to diesel and gasoline and has not yet reached the level of environmental awareness as seen in Western societies, especially in the United States.

He noted that the American consumer has achieved a high level of awareness of the need to consume environment-friendly products, not only in the automotive sector but in all other consumer areas.

The electric car market is thriving in the United States, according to the latest figures of the platform “The Verge,” which confirmed that electric car sales are on track to reach nine percent of all cars sold in America by the end of the year, representing a significant 50 percent year-on-year increase for the second consecutive year.”

Barhmi emphasized that Moroccan consumer primarily considers the price of the battery and the possibility of it breaking down even before buying an electric car, which actually reflects their consumption mindset.” He pointed out that battery issues and their costs would be resolved by researching the features of the car and its battery lifespan before purchasing it.

Costs

Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry and Trade, stated in an interview with Reuters that by 2030, electric cars manufactured in Morocco are expected to represent up to 60 percent of cars exportation, ahead of the European Union’s ban on fossil fuel vehicles in 2035.”

According to Abdelkhalek Touhami, a university professor and academic researcher in economics, the Moroccan reluctance to acquire electric cars is so far due to psychological consumption factors and logistical technical issues. He said the most important issue is logistical. A citizen in Ouarzazate, Errachidia, or Taroudant cannot buy an electric car due to the lack of charging stations within the interior regions.

He also pointed out that the cost of electric cars remains high in Morocco and is not commensurate with the purchasing power of a large segment of potential car buyers, affirming that Moroccans have been accustomed to diesel and gasoline for decades.

Minister Mezzour stressed to Reuters that “the kingdom is gradually working on transforming and increasing its value chain to be suitable and expects continued foreign investment flow in this area.”

Regarding the future of electric car sales in the kingdom, Touhami noted that “Morocco needs a long time so consumers get used to electric cars, as they will only trust them when encouraging indications emerge in the field.

This piece was trqanslated from Hespress AR by Wissal Mellal

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