Tesla is preparing to push into a potentially vast market for its electric vehicles. Reports have suggested the company will expand into India in early 2021. While that might not occur as soon as January, CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter the move would happen “definitely this year.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 27, 2020
The country’s transport minister, Nitin Gadkari, told the Indian Express that Tesla may consider assembly and manufacturing in India depending on the response. The first Tesla EV to arrive in the country will be the Model 3, which will start at around 5.5 million rupees ($74,800), according to the Economic Times. The report adds that Tesla may open up orders for the EV in January and start deliveries by June. Residents were previously able to preorder the Model 3 in 2016.
The Indian government has made efforts to shift away from a reliance on oil and reduce pollution. However, as Reuters notes, the lack of investment in infrastructure and manufacturing has proven a barrier.
Gadkari previously announced plans to add charging stations at roughly 69,000 gas stations. The government has also reduced the goods and services tax on EVs to five percent. Earlier this year, the government gave companies the green light to install thousands of EV charging stations. Tata Power, the nation’s biggest integrated power company, has set up more than 200 charging points to date.