30 May 23

Atlas wants to build “first African EV” in Morocco

Atlas wants to build “first African EV” in Morocco

From 2026, British-Moroccan EV startup Atlas will build the first EV designed, engineered and manufactured in Africa, “inspired by Moroccan design and identity”. The silhouette of the model, which is as yet unnamed, was revealed in a teaser sketch, looking like a compact SUV. 

Atlas was founded by Mohammed Yehya El Bakkali (CEO) and Senhaji Hannoun (CTO), with substantial private funding. It is headquartered in London, but its EV would be produced entirely within Morocco. The company will soon announce its advisory board, but the founders already have a good idea of how the Moroccan-built EV should be marketed. 

The Atlas EV will use “proven EV architecture from an established OEM”, which has not been named yet. By using as many off-the-shelf parts as possible, the new company wants to keep R&D costs at no more than 5% of the total investment. In combination with the lower cost of labour in Morocco, that should result in an EV with a very affordable price tag.

The plan is to market the EV from 2027 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, before going global with it. Atlas’ ambitions don’t stop with the electric vehicles themselves. The company also ants to invest in battery technology, charging infrastructure, and “advanced, range-enhancing technology”. 

Atlas is not the first company to announce the “first African EV”. The claim has been variously made by Kiira Motor Corporation in Uganda, the Apostle Safo Suaye Technological Centre in Ghana (more on both here), Mazibuko in South Africa (more here) and Opibus in Kenya (more here).

Image: Atlas Motor Company

Authored by: Frank Jacobs