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19 Mar, 2019 11:28

Tesla ‘would love’ to enter India’s car market – CEO Elon Musk

Tesla ‘would love’ to enter India’s car market – CEO Elon Musk

Billionaire chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla Elon Musk has vowed that his company will hit the Indian car market as early as this year.

“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” Musk said in a Twitter post, responding to a question about Tesla’s long-delayed entry to India.

The claims come just 10 months after the businessman, famous for his inflammatory tweets, accused India’s challenging regulations of preventing the manufacturer from coming to the world’s fourth-largest automobile market.

Tesla had previously expressed hopes of entering India’s market. In 2014, Tesla’s former CIO, Jayaprakash Vijayan, announced plans to launch a distribution network in the country. However, India’s taxation policy and high import costs prevented the world’s leading electric vehicle brand from taking the step.

Two years ago, Anand Mahindra, the CEO of Indian multinational conglomerate Mahindra Group, invited Tesla to set up a base in the country.

“You don’t want to leave that whole market to Mahindra, do you?” the executive asked Musk in a friendly tweet after Tesla’s CEO commented on India’s ambitious plans to sell only electric cars by 2030.

Earlier this month, the country’s government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a proposal aimed at implementing an eco-friendly policy called “Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II.” The three-year program, which will receive an initial investment of around $1.5 billion, will be launched in April.

India’s market looks promising for Tesla, but the country is still lagging behind neighboring China, where the manufacturer launched its first production facility outside the US. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, only 6,000 passenger electric cars are currently on Indian roads, compared to 1.35 million in China. India reportedly had just 425 publicly available charging points as of the end of 2017.

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