File Photo
File Photo

Mumbai: Tesla, Inc, an American electric vehicle and clean energy company based in Palo Alto, California, is scouting sites for opening a facility in Mumbai, initially for the sale of electric cars which will be imported here. Its officials have so far completed three rounds of talks with the Maharashtra Government and explained their strategy.

An official from the department of industry, involved in the talks with the US major, told The Free Press Journal, “Tesla has launched an extensive exercise to look for sites for the sale and marketing of its electric cars which will be imported initially. The company will speak to Tata Power and Adani Electric about charging facilities. Besides it will also seek charging facilities at Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The company has sought the intervention of the state government and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation so that it can kick off its plan here.’’ The official said talks would resume before Tesla sealed its Mumbai plan.

The company's move comes after Industry Minister Subhash Desai and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray had, in October 2020, invited it to set up shop in Maharashtra. Tesla's Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had also tweeted last October: “Next year for sure. India wants Tesla". Later in December, Musk, answering a question on whether Tesla India would be happening in January, tweeted, “No, but definitely this year."

Thereafter, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that Tesla would have its distribution facility (sale centres) for its cars in India from next year and after reviewing the demand, it would look into setting up manufacturing here. “India has the potential to become the largest EV (electric vehicle) producer in the world in the next five years," he said.

In a related development, Aaditya Thackeray announced on Monday that within a month, the state government would interact with stakeholders to work on a comprehensive upgrade to the Electric Vehicle Policy announced in 2018. This is to include renewable energy, industry, urban and rural development, transport and municipal corporations as an ecosystem to give an urgent push to the EV sector. The Maharashtra EV Policy provides capital subsidy to manufacturers and individual subsidy to end-consumers.

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