United States based electric car maker Tesla Inc will start operations in the Indian market next year, said the country’s transport minister Nitin Gadkariin an interview to the national daily the Indian Express on Monday.
The minister told here the newspaper that the top electric vehicle manufacturer of the world will begin with sale of its cars initially through the export route and then it could even look at assembling them and manufacturing them in India based on the response it gets from the market, the minister told the newspaper.
No further comments on the issue were available from the ministers’ office. No further comments from Tesla were also available in reports related to the issue except for a confirmation of the move by the company on Twitter by Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.
The Indian government has hastened efforts to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel for its vehicles and to reduce pollution levels in the country. But a lack of investments in manufacturing of electric vehicles and infrastructure such as charging stations for electric cars has stifled the government’s efforts to promote wide spread sale and use of electric vehicles.
According to a report in the Economic Times on Saturday, the first model that Tesla will reportedly launch in the Indian market will be its Model 3 which is the cheapest among vehicles of the company and its prices start at a little over $74,739 which is a little over 5.5 million Indian rupees. Booking for the Model 3 could start in a few weeks. However, the report published in the Economic Times report claimed that the actual sale of the vehicles will happen only in the second half of next year. Tesla will most probably handle sales directly as it does in other parts of the world.
The plans of the company to foray into the Indian market was in 2021 were confirmed on Sunday by Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk on Sunday while replying to a comment on Twitter. Musk however also confirmed that the company’s stepping into the Indian market will not happen in January next year.
“Next year for sure,” Musk had replied when a handle called Tesla Club India checked with him about the company’s progress in India.
Tesla had been invited into the Indian state of Maharashtra by the local government there in October which was a few weeks after Musk had suggested that Tesla could be entering the market next year.
The push of the Indian government for electrical cars in the country was underscored by the minister in his interview to the newspaper, and said that work on developing more affordable electric vehicles bit also technically as advanced as the Tesla vehicles was on going by a number of Indian companies.
“India is going to become a number 1 manufacturing hub for auto in five years,” the Indian minister said.
(Adapted from IndianExpress.com)