Elon Musk says Tesla is launching in India 'next year for sure'
Elon Musk has confirmed that Tesla will be entering India in 2021.
In response to a tweet seeking updates on the electric carmaker's India launch plans, Musk wrote, "Next year for sure."
Musk's assurance comes at a time when the Indian government has laid out an Electric Vehicle Roadmap to make the country a global manufacturing hub for EVs.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari also said the government was working towards extending the "best possible concessions" to the EV sector.
Musk's tweet, of course, sent Indian fans of Tesla into a tizzy. One user tweeted, “Omg!! Elon this is a celebrating news.. We were waiting for ages.”
The Tesla founder replied, “Thanks for waiting!”
Interestingly, Musk had spoken of India's stringent vehicle import policies last year.
Its high duties on vehicles imported as completely built units (CBUs) has possibly delayed Tesla's entry into the market. Add to that, India's inadequate EV infrastructure and the low per capita income led may have also influenced the California-based carmaker's decision.
Musk's 2019 tweet read, "I am told duties are extremely high in India (up to 100%) even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable."
However, in 2017, Musk had revealed that Tesla was "in discussions with the Government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties / restrictions until a local factory is built."
Even before the carmaker's entry, Tesla Club India (TCIN) — modelled on the Tesla Owners Club (a community of Tesla owners) in the US — has started selling Tesla merchandise online.
TCIN announced that 100 percent profits from the merchandise sales would go towards building EV charging infrastructure in India.
TCIN member Nikhil Chaudhary wrote on the club's website,
"I hope to make a community that can push for EV and solar awareness in India. India has the world's most polluted cities. Can we live with that? Not for long. Something needs to be done. Our voices are needed to promote positive change.
"We are not being compensated for promoting Tesla and sustainable energy; we want to help India and the world. We will work for all environmental issues here," he added.