Tesla to start ops in India soon, India’s minister says

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Price and charging infrastructure will be the primary challenges for Tesla in India.

EV maker to begin with sales, Minister of Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari announced today.

India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced on Monday that US electric vehicle (EV)  and clean energy company Tesla Inc will start operations in India early next year. Gadkari told Indian media that Tesla will start its operations in India beginning with sales of its vehicles and then may consider assembling and manufacturing, depending on the response. 

According to media reports, the first Tesla EV to be launched in India will be Model 3, one of the most affordable options among the vehicles manufactured by Tesla. The American company will reportedly open pre-booking for Model 3 and will start deliveries by June 2021. The cars will arrive in India as completely built units and there will be no sale through dealerships. 

Tesla’s plans are in step with India’s ongoing plans to reduce oil dependence to cut down pollution. However, attempts to promote electric vehicles have so far been hampered due to a lack of investment in infrastructure and manufacturing like charging stations. The challenge for Tesla will be twofold: the fact that India is price-sensitive with domestic EVs in operation already, and that the charging infrastructure in the country is woefully inadequate.

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