Tesla CEO Elon Musk hints at India launch this summer

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Feb 08, 2017 06:00 PM IST

American electric car-maker may soon make it to India and if its CEO is to be believed then as soon as this summer. India has been looking to cut down emissions in face of rising air pollution problems in the country.

American electric car-maker Tesla might launch its first electric car model in India this summer.

Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, poses with a model of the brand during a visit to Amsterdam.
Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, poses with a model of the brand during a visit to Amsterdam.

The company’s CEO Elon Musk, in reply to a question about the company’s entry into India in a Twitter conversation, said that he was hoping to hit the subcontinent this summer. However, he didn’t disclose any other details.

On Twitter, Ishan Goel with handle ‏@goel_ishan asked Musk “Eagerly waiting for Tesla to launch in India. Any plans to do it? If so then When?” This means that existing car manufacturers in India, both foreign and domestic, have to ramp up their efforts to produce more electric cars in order to compete with Tesla. However, the entry price of the Tesla model will play an important role in this case.

Tesla had shown interest in bringing cars to India last year by allowing consumers to pre-book the Tesla Model 3 which comes at a starting price tag of $35,000. A straight conversion would take the value of the Model 3 to Rs 23 lakhs but this may not be the final price of the Model 3 as the Indian edition might add or delete features according to market dynamics.

Read: At Rs 37 lakh, Tesla Model 3 could actually race well in India

Musk had earlier confirmed that consumers who, when and if, do buy the Model 3 will have no problems of charging the car as the Indian edition will come with a India-specific supercharger network. Superchargers have the ability to charge Tesla cars from 0 to 100 percent in roughly 75 minutes and are currently offered free of cost to those who own Tesla cars. However, it’s unclear whether the network will be free for Model 3 owners in India.

Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. (AP)
Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. (AP)

The CEO had also revealed plans for manufacturing operations with Gigafactory installations in India apart from some other countries due to high demand for its batteries and by looking at long-term view of his business. But this might take a little more time to start depending on Tesla’s entry time frame and popularity in the country.

Read: Almost 400,000 orders for Tesla Model 3, says ‘surprised’ Elon Musk

However, there is some scope for it to work out in the end as a Gigafactory installation may work in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to generate 175 Gigawatts of clean energy by 2022 for the country. Earlier news reports also indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was impressed with Tesla’s electricity storage technology after touring the company’s campus during his visit to US.


    Anirban Ghoshal was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of correspondents that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. He no longer works with the Hindustan Times.

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