Tesla Invited by Maharashtra After Elon Musk Hints Entry Into India

Tesla Invited by Maharashtra After Elon Musk Hints Entry Into India

India’s richest state Maharashtra has invited US electric-car maker Tesla, weeks after its Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk suggested entering the country next year.

In a tweet on Thursday, state tourism and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray said he and industries minister Subhash Desai held a video call with Tesla executives earlier in the day to invite them to the state.

Earlier this month, Musk said “Next year for sure” on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.

Tesla’s entry into Asia’s third largest economy could come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is increasingly focusing to promote the use of electric vehicles.

Last month, Tesla’s market value dropped $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,68,300 crores) despite CEO Elon Musk’s promise to cut electric vehicle costs so radically that a $25,000 (roughly Rs. 18.4 lakhs) car that drives itself will be possible, but not for at least three years.

Musk and other Tesla executives presented their new battery and manufacturing strategies in the company’s “Battery Day” event in September. “Nothing Musk discussed about batteries is a done deal,” said Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin. “There was nothing tangible.”

Investors had expected two significant announcements at Musk’s oft-touted “Battery Day”: The development of a “million mile” battery good for 10 years or more, and a specific cost reduction target, expressed in dollars per kilowatt-hour, that would finally drop the price of an electric vehicle below that of a gasoline car.

Musk offered neither. Instead, he promised over the next several years to slash battery costs in half with new technology and processes and deliver an “affordable” electric car. “In three years… we can do a $25,000 car (roughly Rs. 18.4 lakhs) that will be basically on par (with), maybe slightly better than, a comparable gasoline car,” Musk said.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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