Tesla is finally going to launch in India, the world’s fifth-largest auto market, in 2021 according to the country’s transport minister and Elon Musk.
Talking to Indian Express, Nitin Gadkari said that Tesla will begin selling its vehicles in the country and then will decide on assembly and manufacturing depending on market demand.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk said on Twitter that Tesla will indeed enter the Indian market in 2021, just not in January as previously rumored.
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India is making efforts to promote electric vehicles in a bid to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, but so far these have been stymied by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure, including charging stations, Reuters reports.
The Indian government announced back in September that they plan to offer $4.6 billion in incentives by 2030 to companies in order to establish EV battery manufacturing facilities in the country. Just 3,400 EVs were sold locally during 2019, compared to 1.7 million ICE-powered passenger cars.
The first Tesla to become available in India will be the Model 3, the company’s most affordable vehicle, with prices starting at over $74,000 (5.5 million Indian rupees), almost double of what a base 2021 Model 3 costs in the USA.
Tesla, which recently joined the S&P 500 index, saw its shares increasing in value by over 650 percent in 2020, giving it a market evaluation of over $600 billion. This means the EV maker is more valuable than the nine largest automakers combined and makes Must the second richest person on Earth behind only Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.