Last year, when US-based electric car major Tesla unveiled its most ‘affordable’ electric car Model 3, CEO Elon Musk confirmed the company’s plan to enter India before the production of Model 3 begins.
At the launch event, he also added there will be a India-wide Supercharger network.
Now, on Tuesday, CEO Musk hinted at a possible India launch as early as summer of 2017 while responding to a question on Twitter.
How it all started?
In 2014, Tesla had said it was keen to enter the Indian market and even identified the country as one of the possible locations to set up a manufacturing plant in Asia.
Taking up that seriously, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, during his July 2016 visit to Tesla’s San Francisco facility had invited Tesla to make India its Asia manufacturing hub and offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of their vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.
Last September, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Tesla’s facility in San Jose and showed keen interest in some of their path breaking inventions, particularly in the renewable energy sector which can have multiple applications in remote rural areas.
India’s automotive industry is expected to reach 7 million vehicles milestone by 2020, making the country the third-largest auto manufacturer in the world. Electric cars haven’t really taken off in India as far as sales are concerned but Tesla’s Model 3 could be a game-changer.
Priced at $35,000 (Rs 23 lakh approx), the car is said to reach a speed of 60 miles per hour in just 6 seconds. The car will have a range of 346 km on a single charge, and there will be versions of the cars which have an even better range.
(With inputs from PTI & Reuters)