Tesla plans electric car development center in India

Tesla showroom in New Jersey

Tesla, a leading electric car maker, is setting up its research and development (R&D) centre in Bengaluru to kick off its India operations soon.

The R&D unit in India is Tesla’s second outside the US. Its first such overseas centre is in Shanghai where it has a Gigafactory to make electric cars.

Karnataka will lead India’s journey towards Green Mobility. Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla will soon start its operations in India with an R&D unit in Bengaluru, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday.

Tesla registered its Indian subsidiary with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) in Bengaluru on January 8, with Rs 15 lakh authorised capital and Rs 1 lakh paid-up capital.

Tesla India Motors and Energy’s directors include Vibhav Taneja, Venkatrangam Sreeram and David Jon Feinstein.

Tesla is in touch with other state governments like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to start its India operations.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said last month that Tesla will begin operations with sales in early 2021 and may look at assembling and manufacturing vehicles in the country.

In October last year, Musk had said that the electric car maker is finally ready to enter the India market next year. Reacting to a tweet by Tesla Club India, Musk said: “Will release order configurator probably in Jan.”

Tesla sales teams are working on building custom sales and production orders for the India market, ensuring orders are complete and validated once the configuration is finished.

The move will also open India to select as one of the countries where Tesla cars can be purchased.

Tesla’s entry comes at a time when India is ramping up charging infrastructure for electric vehicles with the aim of significantly increasing the proportion of electric vehicles plying on the roads.

Besides electric vehicles, the US-based clean energy firm makes battery storage from home to grid scale, solar panels and solar roof tiles.

Karnataka is the first state in the country to have an electric vehicle policy to woo investments in the sunrise sector. A slew of startups like Ola Electric, Sub Mobility and Ather have set up their operations in the city.

The move comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting the production and use of electric vehicles to reduce the country’s oil dependence and cut down on pollution.

But efforts have been stymied by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure such as charging stations.

To boost investment, India plans to offer $4.6 billion in incentives to companies setting up advanced battery manufacturing facilities, according to a government proposal seen by Reuters.