Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had visited the Tesla Motors’ factory near San Francisco last year. During the visit, the minister met top officials of the American EV maker and extended an invitation to set up a manufacturing factory in India with a local JV partner.
To make a convincing case, the minister also announced various sops including land parcel if Tesla decides to locate its plant in the country. Soon it was revealed that three Indian states are already working hard to get the attention of Tesla. These three states are – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
An export hub in Asia would be of strategic importance to Tesla.
But all this was talks was still taken by enthusiasts with a pinch of salt. Until in February this year, when Elon Musk surprised Tesla fans in India by confirming that they are indeed working towards launching Tesla in India. Elon Musk tweeted – “Hoping for summer this year (Tesla India launch)”.
This tweet not only surprised us, but also got thousands of pro-electric car fans here in India excited as the world’s foremost carmaker in future technology had just confirmed India launch plans. But, the excitement was short lived. This is what Elon Musk tweeted earlier this week.
This tweet more or less confirms that Tesla India launch plans are on the backfoot, atleast for some years now. But, if India manages to convince Tesla to establish a manufacturing facility in India, the launch plans would be accelerated. It would go a long way in increasing the acceptance of electric vehicles in the Indian market. As a part of the proposal, Mr. Gadkari also assured Tesla that he would make exports to other Asian markets from one of India’s well-established ports conducive. That is what the Indian govt is trying to do. See their latest tweet, in reply to Elon Musk’s tweet.
A senior executive of Tesla stated that the company appreciates the Indian government’s offer of cooperation and added that the proposal will certainly be considered at an appropriate time in the future. The company also stated that India will definitely be a market for its next gen low-cost sustainable models.