Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated today that his company will make a foray into India come next year in a series of replies on Twitter.
Musk replied to a post that featured a photograph of two t-shirts with the messages “India wants Tesla” and “India (heart symbol) Tesla”. The post originated from Tesla Club India and Musk’s answer was a simple “yeah”, before adding “Next year for sure” in a separate reply and concluding with “Thanks for waiting.”
If it does happen next year, Tesla’s entry would come at a time when Indian PM Narendra Modi is becoming increasingly focused on promoting the use and manufacturing of electric vehicles, reports Reuters.
Related: India To Offer $4.6 Billion In Incentives To Local EV Battery Makers
India’s car market has been feeling the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, after already registering a slowdown in demand last year. Carmakers are now seeking government support in order to boost sales.
Next year for sure
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2020
Speaking of 2019, Musk made similar comments about India in response to somebody asking “What about India sir?” back then; to which the Tesla CEO replied “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” – of course, this was March of 2019, pre-COVID.
The Indian government meanwhile is preparing itself for a surge in electric mobility by offering $4.6 billion in incentives to companies that establish battery manufacturing facilities for EVs locally. The country could slash import bills by as much as $40 billion by 2030 if EVs become widely adopted.
This plan would see India retain a 5% import tax for certain types of batteries, including those for electric cars, until 2022. Afterwards, the tax would increase by 15% so as to encourage local manufacturing.