After Karnataka and Gujarat, it is now Maharashtra which has shown interest in setting up Tesla India plant
The New Year brings in renewed interest for Tesla fans in India. Earlier announcements, made over the past four years, may have ended in much disappointment for electric car aficionados in the country, but this time round, Tesla could be here to stay.
The electric car maker has already registered entity Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru, Karnataka with its registered office at Lavelle Road. Investments to the tune of Rs.1 lakh paid up capital and Rs.15 lakhs authorized capital has been set apart and 3 directors Vaibhav Taneja, Venkatrangam Sreeram and David Jon Feinstein have been named.
Multiple States Show Interest
Now, even as reports come in that Tesla is in talks with other State Government, Ministers in Maharashtra have shown keen interest in Tesla setting up manufacturing operations in the state. This was also echoed by Subhash Desai, State Industry Minister, even as it is learnt that Tesla has held three rounds of talks with the Industry Department and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation.
Plans are to set up a showroom in Mumbai for sales of Tesla models while Tesla is also in talks with Tata Power and Adani Electric for charging facilities. Import and charging facilities could be conducted via Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
Tesla to showcase 6 cars in India
As per Desai, Tesla will start production in India but before that, they plan to showcase 6 electric car models to gauge customer response. This will determine which vehicles should first be introduced in the country once Tesla’s Indian operations commence. The cars will be brought in from US and European markets where they are currently on sale prior to the company setting up a manufacturing facility.
Tesla plans to import and sell the Model 3 in India, priced at around $65,000-$75,000 (Rs.47,35,900- Rs.54,64,500). This would be double the price it is sold in US markets and hence it is not going to be easy for Tesla.
India as a whole is still in its nascent stage where adoption of electric vehicles are concerned. Lack of widespread acceptance and a price conscious market, coupled with lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is a cause of concern in a market which had accounted for sale of only 5,000 units out of a total of 2.4 million vehicles sold in 2020. Also, the road conditions in India, stray cattle and lack of lane discipline among drivers in the country could make Tesla’s autonomous and high-tech features difficult to deploy.
Tesla’s entry into India will see it compete in the luxury EV segment. In this space, Mercedes Benz EQC is launched in India in October 2020 over Rs 1 cr; and of which the company sold 31 units. Jaguar Land Rover also has plans to launch the i-PACE EV by March 2021 which is sold in US markets at $70,000 (Rs.50,99,990).