Tesla Inc, the American electric vehicle company headed by the world’s richest person Elon Musk has finally entered India. The US-based automaker has registered a new Indian company Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru, the technology hub of India. The company has been incorporated on January 8th with an authorized capital of INR 15 lakhs and a paid-up capital of INR 1 lakh.
Tesla had planned its entry into India earlier in 2016, however, the company did not go ahead with the plan then apparently due to dismal infrastructure facilities in India for electric vehicles and constantly changing import policies. Elon Musk had previously confirmed the entry of Tesla into the Indian market in 2021 last year. Replying on Twitter, Musk had said “Next year for sure” in response to a photograph of a T-shirt reading India wants Tesla.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had also announced Tesla’s entry into India in December 2020. He informed that Tesla’s cheapest model: Model 3 costing around INR 55 lakhs would be launched first in India. It is reported that the bookings for this model will likely start in January.
Welcoming the electric car giant in India, the Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa tweeted a welcome message for Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk: “Karnataka will lead India’s journey towards Green Mobility. Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Tesla will soon start its operations in India with an R&D unit in Bengaluru. I welcome Elon Musk to India and Karnataka and wish him all the very best.” However, shortly after, the minister deleted his tweet for unknown reasons.
While the location for Tesla’s manufacturing plant has not yet been finalized, the company is in talks with multiple states including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Tesla’s Indian subsidiary has three directors on its board including Tesla’s senior executive David Feinstein.
Indians were quite elated with this much-anticipated news as #TeslainIndia trended on Twitter. While most of the Twitterati welcome Tesla and Elon Musk into India, a few wondered how the future of Tesla’s vehicles which is known for its auto-pilot mode would look in India given the worse road conditions in the country.
— fᵣₑₑ wₐy 🗨 (@T_O_freeway) January 13, 2021
Ironically, Bangalore in Karnataka, the city where Tesla has kick-started its Indian presence is infamous for its traffic conditions. Currently, Karnataka is a hub of various electric vehicle manufacturers like Ather Energy and Mahindra Electric. SUN Mobility also announced its plans to roll out 100 battery swapping stations in Bengaluru by 2021.