Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Representational Image // The Summit 2013 – Picture by Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com

India, one of the largest automobile markets in the world, has set out an ambitious electric vehicle policy for itself. But when it comes to fruition, there has been little choice for consumers to choose from. Auto giants such as Tata Motors have taken steps in the right direction, but mainstream buying of electric vehicles continues to elude companies. That could soon change.

It looks like the godfather of  electric vehicle manufacturing itself– Tesla (or Elon Musk?), is finally set to make its entry in the Indian subcontinent.

Replying to a twitter handle that asked about Tesla’s plans in India, Elon Musk said that the EV maker will surely enter the Indian market next year.

While this is very promising, this is not the first time he has made a claim like this. In March 2019, Musk had similarly replied to a tweet enquiring about Tesla’s entry in India, by saying, ” Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!”. Well, next year is here, but Tesla vehicles are not.

One might argue that the project was delayed due to coronavirus, but we still advise caution.

Reports of Tesla establishing an R&D center in India have also been doing the rounds recently. Sources suggested that the American EV company was in talks with the Karnataka government to launch an R&D center in India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru.

Elon Musk has always complained of the ‘restrictive policies’ of India that barred the American automaker from entering the 4th largest automobile market in the world. But things seem to have changed now as the Indian government has started pushing for the production and adoption of EVs in India.

The Modi government has set a target for to completely switch to electric vehicles by 2030, despite facing criticism that it may not be able to do so. The government proposed that all two-wheelers below 150cc sold after March 31, 2025, and three-wheelers sold after March 31, 2023, should be all-electric. There are several other campaigns and policies in place to encourage the sales of electric vehicles in India such as the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), that aimed to sell 6-7 million electric and hybrid vehicles in India by 2020.

These new policies from India might have enticed Tesla to take a look at the Indian market and decide accordingly. It would also seem logical for the company to take its next step in India after successfully launching its operations in China. Tesla in 2019 had officially completed the construction of its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai and started assembly of its Model 3 there in December 2019. Since then the American EV company became a huge hit in China, selling more than 11,000 EVs in May and August this year.

Given the current scenario, Tesla could become a huge hit in India too, given it has already amassed a large number of fans in the country. All that’s left to see is whether Elon Musk stays true his words this time.