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Wednesday 31st May 2023 / 9 Shawwal 1444

Musk hints at Tesla entering India next year

elong musk

SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has indicated that the US electric carmaker will expand into India in 2021.

“Next year for sure,” Musk said on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: ‘India wants Tesla’ asking when Tesla would sell is electric cars in India. “Thanks for waiting,” Musk said.

Tesla’s entry could come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is increasingly becoming focussed on promoting the use and manufacture of electric vehicles.

India’s auto sector, already reeling from a slowdown in demand last year, has been further hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic and carmakers are seeking government support to push sales.

Musk commented last year about coming to India, in response to someone on Twitter who asked “What about India sir?”. “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” he said in March 2019.

READ MORE: Elon Musk overtakes Mark Zuckerberg, becomes third-richest person

The Indian government is pushing for a boost in electric vehicle sales as it increasingly focuses on cutting emissions and other sustainability measures.

In September 2017, the government said all of the roughly 250 million vehicles on the road must be electric by 2030. After fierce criticism, the government lowered this target to just 30% in February 2018.

The capital New Delhi will have as many as 2,000 electric public transport buses by the end of 2021, the city’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot announced in August 2020. The ministry for power is also looking into setting up electric vehicle charging points at all gas stations in Delhi.

This is not the first time Musk has commented on selling his company’s luxury vehicles in India. Back in February 2017, Musk said he hoped to launch sales in India that summer. Four months later, he said he was in talks with India’s government about Tesla.

As Tesla plans its launch into the Indian markets, other vehicle manufacturers continue to pull out. On September 25, Harley-Davidson announced it would stop manufacturing in India, despite its status as the world’s largest motorcycle market.

Earlier Toyota said that it was halting a planned expansion due to India’s high tax regime, while General Motors left India in 2017 after failing to expand its market share.

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