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Tesla moves a step closer to launching in India

·2 min read
Tesla's Elon Musk visits the construction site of the future factory in Germany.
Tesla's Elon Musk visits the construction site of the future factory in Germany.

Tesla has moved closer to its launch in India later this year by registering a company in the country.

Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited was incorporated last week with registered offices in Bengaluru.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk tweeted in October about a foray into India.

India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari told local media last month that Tesla would start with sales and then might look at assembly and manufacturing.

However, local officials have suggested that Tesla’s plans for India are not entirely clear.

Karnataka industries minister Jagadish Shettar told the Times of India that “While the firm has registered, there is still no clarity about what they would do here.”

Bengaluru is the centre of India’s technology industry.

Many of the country’s home-grown tech companies have their headquarters there, and many multinationals also have their Indian headquarters in the city.

The filing shows the Indian unit has three directors including David Feinstein, who is currently a senior executive at Tesla, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Tesla's founder Elon Musk recently became the world's richest person, overtaking Amazon's Jeff Bezos with a fortune of more than $185bn (£135bn).

His foray into India comes as the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting the production and use of electric vehicles to reduce the country’s oil dependence and cut down on pollution.

But efforts have been stymied by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure such as charging stations.

Still, India’s carmarkers are increasingly looking to electric vehicles as a growth market.

Tata Motors, India's biggest carmaker, is expected to introduce a range of affordable electric vehicles this year, while Mahindra and Maruti are also expected to launch their own versions this year.