Thrice is magic? Elon Musk to meet PM Narendra Modi again. Here's what to expect

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk will visit India and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Elon Musk
Elon Musk has reclaimed his title as the world's richest person, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. (File photo) (via REUTERS)
Elon Musk
Elon Musk has reclaimed his title as the world's richest person, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. (File photo)

Elon Musk will call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month in what is likely to be the most significant meeting between one of the world's most influential businessmen and one of world's most powerful political leaders. On the cards is Tesla entry into the Indian market as the US-headquartered electric vehicle (EV) company looks to expand its global footprint while India aims to accelerate its EV ambitions.

Musk has met PM Modi on two occasions previously. Both these meetings took place in the US. The first was when PM Modi visited the Tesla Fremont production facility in California back in 2015. At the time, PM Modi had been in office for a little over a year and the focal point of his talks with Musk was Tesla's Powerwall, a storage device for solar energy. "Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Prime Minister Modi discussed Tesla's developments in battery technology, energy storage, and renewable energy and the positive implications of this innovation for India," Tesla's then spokesman Ricardo Reyes had told news agency PTI after the first interaction between Musk and PM Modi.

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The second interaction between the two was when Musk was part of a delegation of top American businessmen to meet PM Modi during his state visit to the US in June of 2023. “He (PM Modi) really cares about India. He wants to be open, he wants to be supportive of new companies and make sure it accrues to India's advantage," Musk would later tell reporters. “I am a fan of PM Modi."

All eyes on Tesla's India entry

While Musk has been to India before, this is the first time he will meet an Indian political leader here. While Musk and PM Modi have previously discussed the possibility of Tesla entering India, the upcoming meeting will likely focus on the actual investments and related plans.

The Indian government made changes to the EV policy in the country just last month, allowing for a reduced import duty on EVs if a company makes certain commitments towards local manufacturing within three years.

While Tesla will drive in its offerings via the import route initially, it is now looking at investing around $3 billion to have a manufacturing base here. It is learnt that the company is also in talks with Reliance to help it set up such a base.

First Published Date: 11 Apr 2024, 09:45 AM IST

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