After a lot of hiccups, Elon Musk-led Tesla has started discussions with the Indian government for an investment proposal to set up a car manufacturing facility in India with an annual capacity of as many as 500,000 electric vehicles, the starting prices for which will be Rs 20 lakh, The Times of India (ToI) has reported.
Tesla already has a substantial presence in China, and now, the company is looking at India as an export base to supply cars to other markets in the Indo-Pacific region, the newspaper cited government sources.
Citing an unnamed source, the report said, "Tesla has come to us with an ambitious plan, and we are confident that the movement will be positive this time around, especially as it involves both local manufacturing and exports." The representatives are leading the discussions from the commerce and industry ministry, and the government is hopeful of a positive conclusion.
Earlier, Tesla's CEO had said that India has strong potential for a sustainable energy future, including solar power, stationary battery packs, and electric vehicles. Speaking during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit to the United States of America, Musk told ANI, "He (Modi) really cares about India because he's pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something we intend to do."
Elon Musk's Starlink, the satellite-based internet provider, is also taking steps to establish its presence in the Indian market. The company has already applied to the concerned government regulators to acquire the necessary approvals.
As things stand, Starlink's satellite internet system has about 4,000 small satellites orbiting the low Earth orbit. The satellite-based internet could prove especially helpful in connecting remote or rural villages where installing a conventional fibre-based connection is difficult.