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Tesla To Enter India in 2021 and Look at Manufacturing

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Tela will start operations in India for the first time in 2021 and look for a possible assembly, possibly making India home for its next Gigafactory.

Tesla will start operations in India in 2021 first with sales and then maybe look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response to the cars. The big part of the story is that India aims to become the world's “number one manufacturer” of electric vehicles like cars, bikes, trucks, tractors and construction machinery that run on electricity, says Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and MSME to Indian Express.

Tesla is expected to start operations in India with the launch of the Model 3, its most affordable vehicle at the moment, for about 55 to 60 lakhs (~$68,000 to ~$81,000). Citing a person familiar with the matter, the Economic Times reported that reservations for the Tesla Model 3 could start next month.

Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla India would not be happening in January 2021, "but definitely this year.” Musk seemed to already be thinking ahead and looking toward Tesla’s plans next year, as I said in my recording because decisions and announcements like that from the Indian minister don't come just like that.

Musk tweeted about Tesla coming to India in October as well. Around the same time, India’s Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan said the state of Karnataka had been speaking with Apple and Tesla about establishing facilities in the country.

“Tesla is preparing to start operations in India by early 2021. I am sure that there are a lot of EV which are equal to Tesla from the technology point of view. Indian manufacturers are doing a lot of research and changes. In due course of time you will get electric cars which will be equal to Tesla. I am confident and the cost will be very less,” Gadkari said, adding that in due course India would be the “number one manufacturer” of electric vehicles like cars, bikes, trucks, tractors and construction machinery that run on electricity.

The Indian minister says Li-Ion batteries are a problem. India is sending satellites using a different type of batteries. "Research is going on and our people are competent and we will get the solution for that. Sodium ion batteries are also in the process of being made. The research is in the final stages. I am very much confident about our IITs and engineering graduates. In this field we will get success. The sodium ion batteries are very cheap. So we may get the solution. We will be the number-one manufacturers of electric bikes, scooters, tractors, trucks, and even construction equipment machinery of electric in due course,” he said. I think by the Time Tesla comes to India may be these sodium-ion batteries will be ready and new India-made Tesla models will make the more advanced sodium-ion batteries.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.