Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said at the The Indian Express Idea Exchange programme on Monday that the US electric vehicle company Tesla will “start operations" in India in early 2021.
Gadkari said that Tesla will first start operations in the country with sales only an later consider establishing any assembly and manufacturing plants, depending on the response its electric cars get here. Further emphasizing on the push for electric vehicles in the country, Gadkari said that various Indian OEMs have also been working on battery-powered vehicles that would be environmentally-friendly. He added, “India is going to become a number one manufacturing hub for auto in five years."
A latest report had suggested that the US electric vehicle giant will bring its best-selling and most affordable Model 3 to India by end of first quarter of FY 2021-22. In fact, the bookings for the electric sedan will commence in the country from next month, as per the report. In October, CEO Elon Musk himself had tweeted about the company’s entry in India in 2021.
Tesla is expected to follow the direct sales model in India, just like in various international markets. The company will bank upon digital sales, without appointing any dealers here. The cars will be imported via the completely built unit (CBU) route and is likely to be priced from ₹55 lakh onwards.
(Also read | Tesla Model Y makes world debut as a police vehicle in New York)
Earlier reports also mentioned that Tesla is in talks with the Indian government to setup an R&D center in Bengaluru, for which at least two rounds of discussions have already been held. Some other reports state that Tesla's first facility in India could likely be established in either Kerala or Maharashtra.
It seems that Tesla enthusiasts in India can celebrate the New Year with utmost excitement and start saving to buy their favourite electric vehicles.