In his three-day visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and among several topics discussed, the pair did resume talks about the brand’s much-awaited India entry.
“Tesla to be in India as soon as possible": Musk
PM Modi urged Musk to “explore opportunities in India for investments in electric mobility and the rapidly expanding commercial space sector”, as per a statement from the Press Information Bureau. And while Musk did hint at a “significant investment”, a clear timeline has still not been specified.
In an ANI video and tweet, after meeting PM Modi, Elon Musk said: "I am planning to visit India next year. I am confident that Tesla will be in India and we will do so as soon as humanly possible”, subtly steering clear of a committed time frame.
He added, “I would like to thank PM Modi for his support and hopefully, we will be able to announce something in the not-too-distant future. It is quite likely there will be a significant investment in India.”
In a separate interaction with the media, Musk said, “I'm incredibly excited about the future of India. India has more promise than any large country in the world. He [PM Modi] really cares about India as he's pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something that we intend to do; we're just trying to figure out the right timing.”
Tesla recently held talks about setting up factory in India
This comes just a month after Tesla officials were in talks with the central government about setting up shop in India, even suggesting establishing a factory here to make EVs for export as well as domestic sales. However, the company had not offered any details on either the location or the investment.
Tesla made this proposition after the government last year refused to accept the company’s request to reduce import tax on cars, which can go up as high as 100 percent on CBUs costing above $40,000. India wanted Tesla to build cars locally, whereas the carmaker wanted to test the waters first with imports, and the discussions ended in an impasse.
At the last meeting, there were also talks on which models could potentially be offered in India and even the scope of setting up a battery manufacturing plant in the future. Tesla reportedly also sought advice on how to avail of the local Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.