Tesla Might Set Up EV Factory In India, But Confusions Prevail
The Karnataka government and the automaker are yet to find a middle ground.
Electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla, Inc. is looking to set up a factory in India to start assembling its cars here and is said to be closing in on an agreement with the Karnataka government.
Over the weekend, the State’s Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa revealed that Tesla will set up its first plant in India there, putting an end to speculations.
At present, the firm, which plans to set up a research and development centre near Bengaluru, is actively considering assembling its cars in the suburbs of the nation’s IT capital.
It must be noted that Tesla officially registered its Indian arm (named Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited) and an office in Bengaluru, while also naming 3 directors, only last month. This development came about after Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, confirmed the firm’s India entry earlier this year.
But, people aware of the development say the intent of the statement signed off by the Karnataka chief minister was to show global investor interest in India.
Also, talks between the company and the State are claimed to be where they were last September and this was confirmed by Jagadish Shettar, Karnataka’s Minister for Large and Medium Industries.
He said that officials are in constant touch with Tesla and that there is still no agreement on their plans even though the State government has “offered all available options and assistance”.
If the Tesla India factory is indeed set up, it would only be the second if its kind outside of the USA. However, since EVs contribute to only about 1 percent of the total passenger vehicle sales in India, the California-based firm might use its Indian factory primarily as an export base.