Electric carmaker Tesla Motors may launch in India this summer, the Silicon Valley company’s CEO Elon Musk hinted in a tweet on Wednesday.
“Hoping for summer this year,” Musk said on Twitter in response to a question on when Tesla plans to launch in India.
@goel_ishan Hoping for summer this year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2017
Tesla started taking bookings from India customers for its $35,000 (over Rs 23.5 lakh) Model 3 sedan in April last year, the same time when it unveiled the car to the world. The Model 3 is due to go into production late 2017.
The booking, which is worth $1,000, saw the likes of Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy, and Fitness tech company GOQii’s Vishal Gondal signing up.
Tesla claims the Model 3 can run 346 km on full charge and go from 0-100 kmph in around six seconds, and is Tesla’s most affordable offering till date. “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000, or even close. It’s a really good car, even with no options,” Musk had said around the time the car was unveiled. The starting price for the Model 3 is $35,000.
Tesla Motors’ other offerings include the $85,000 plus (Over Rs 57 lakh) Model S and the Model X.
In September 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Tesla Motors’ Silicon Valley plant and met Musk to discuss renewable energy. A month later, Musk had tweeted hinting his interest setting up manufacturing in India, saying, “Given the high local demand, a Gigafactory in India would probably make sense in the long term.” Tesla’s Gigafactory is a lithium-ion battery factory.
The Indian government on its part has been rooting for electric vehicles and plans to make the country a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. The state governments of Delhi and Karnataka have eliminated all local taxes on electric vehicles over concerns of rising pollution in cities.
The Indian automotive industry is currently worth $74 billion and is expected to achieve a turnover of $300 billion by 2026, according to the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM). India is set to become the third-largest automobile market in the world behind US and China.
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Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.