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Updated December 27th, 2023 at 14:27 IST

Tesla's India entry set to revolutionise electric vehicle landscape

An official announcement regarding Tesla's entry into the Indian market is expected to be made at the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2024.

Sankunni K
Tesla's India entry set to revolutionise electric vehicle landscape
Tesla's India entry set to revolutionise electric vehicle landscape | Image:Tesla Motors
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Tesla India entry: India is reportedly on the cusp of finalising a pivotal deal with the American automotive giant, Tesla Inc. The deal would not only enable Tesla to import its electric vehicles into the country from next year but also pave the way for the establishment of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant within the next two years, Bloomberg News reported quoting people aware of the matter. This potential collaboration is expected to be officially unveiled at the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2024, marking a significant milestone in India’s foray into the electric vehicle sector.

Choosing the right ground: States in consideration

Delving into the specifics, the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are currently under consideration for this groundbreaking venture. The choice of these states is underscored by their robust and well-established infrastructure, making them conducive to Tesla’s ambitious plans. This strategic selection aligns with Tesla’s global approach of strategically situating its manufacturing facilities in regions with logistical advantages.

Tesla’s financial commitment: A game-changer for India’s economy

Tesla Motors Assembly Line (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Tesla is gearing up to make an initial investment of approximately $2 billion for the establishment of its manufacturing plant in India, according to the Bloomberg report. In addition to this substantial capital injection, the electric vehicle pioneer is contemplating procuring auto parts from India, a move that could potentially amount to a staggering $15 billion. Moreover, Tesla is exploring the prospect of manufacturing batteries locally, a strategic move aimed at curbing costs and bolstering its long-term sustainability in the Indian market. It’s imperative to note, however, that these plans are subject to change pending official announcements and strategic considerations.

Elon Musk’s vision: A glimpse into the future

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

While these developments unfold, Tesla’s enigmatic CEO, Elon Musk, hinted in June about the company’s intent to make a “significant investment” in India. Musk, known for his visionary approach, conveyed plans to visit the country in 2024, underscoring the long-term commitment Tesla envisions for the burgeoning Indian market. Despite these glimpses into the future, there has been no official commentary from Tesla regarding the recent speculations.

Electric revolution in India: Overcoming challenges

The backdrop against which Tesla is making these strategic moves in India is a burgeoning electric vehicle market. Despite accounting for a mere 1.3 per cent of all passenger vehicle sales last year, the electric vehicle segment in India holds immense potential. Challenges such as the high cost of electric vehicles and a scarcity of charging stations have hindered widespread adoption. However, Tesla’s entry could be a game-changer. Currently avoiding direct imports due to hefty tariffs, Tesla aims to overcome this obstacle by initiating local production. This shift could potentially make Tesla’s locally manufactured cars accessible to the Indian market at a more competitive price point, as low as $20,000, thereby catalysing a surge in electric vehicle adoption.

Piyush Goyal’s diplomatic foray: A prelude to collaboration

Union Minister Piyush Goyal at Tesla factory. (Image (s): X)

In a recent diplomatic overture, Union Minister Piyush Goyal visited the Tesla factory in Fremont, underlining the Indian government’s keen interest in fostering collaboration. While Musk’s health prevented a scheduled meeting, the commitment to a future interaction was affirmed by the billionaire himself.

As the wheels of negotiation turn, the impending deal between India and Tesla holds the promise of a paradigm shift in the country’s automotive landscape. From potential economic stimuli and job creation to ushering in a new era of sustainable transportation, Tesla’s entry into India could redefine the electric vehicle narrative.

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Stakeholders await the official announcement at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, with the automotive world watching with bated breath, anticipating the dawn of a new chapter in India’s electric future.

Additional developments: Vietnam-based VinFast eyes the Indian market

VinFast EV models

While Tesla makes waves in the Indian EV market, Vietnam-based VinFast is reportedly gearing up to enter the Indian market by H2 CY2024. The multinational automotive company plans to roll out its battery-run cars amid reports that the Indian government considering tax reductions on imported Electric Vehicles (EVs). Initial plans involve importing electric SUVs as Completely Built Units (CBU) and later transitioning to local assembly.

VinFast's entry comes at a time when the Indian EV market is witnessing a surge in demand, primarily driven by the introduction of affordable electric models priced under $20,000. The government's initiatives to reduce import duties and encourage local manufacturing align with VinFast's strategy to establish a manufacturing facility in India by 2025.

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As Tesla and VinFast set their sights on the Indian market, the landscape of electric vehicles in the country is poised for a transformative shift.

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 13:55 IST

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