‘Tesla busy in China and US’: Nitin Gadkari wants desi Tesla in India

Nitin Gadkari

While Elon Musk-founded Tesla, which makes electric cars, is busy manufacturing electric vehicles in the US and China, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari wants home-grown automakers to be India’s Tesla.

“I met him (Elon Musk) and offered free land. I asked him to come and set up the manufacturing unit in India we will give you all the support needed. He said, he is busy with China and US markets,” said Gadkari in an interview. “Told Tata and Mahindra, why can’t they innovate to create an indigenous electric car like Tesla does. We are ready to support you,”  added Gadkari pushing for Desi Tesla.

Transport Minister also inquired with ISRO whether Lithium-ion battery can be made in India. He held a cabinet meeting and discussed this with the secretary, which led to cost reduction of 40 percent of Lithium-ion battery, he claimed. Reliance, Adani, the JSW, the Mahindra and the Hero groups of companies are also looking at the battery pack business.

The Indian government is pushing for the electric vehicle as it sees the cost and clean advantage. According to the government’s ambitious plan, India will become an all electric vehicle country by 2030. The move will not merely expect to reduce pollution but cut oil imports. In comparison, a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine costs Rs 7 per km to run, whereas electrical vehicle costs Rs 1 per km.

At present, less than 1% of the 200 million vehicles on Indian roads are estimated to be electric vehicles.

In India, currently, 17 companies are manufacturing batteries. “In coming days, we will export electric vehicles,” declared Gadkari.

Earlier, Tesla has written to the government evincing interest in entering the market through the single-brand retail window, sources told TOI. The development comes months after Musk had tweeted about the high import duty and sourcing requirements.

“In discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief from import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built,” he had tweeted on June 15.

A questionnaire in this regard to Tesla by Entrackr remains unanswered.

Mahindra and Mahindra founder Anand Mahindra, India’s lone electric car maker had also said that the concept of making environment-friendly and clean technology vehicles is business opportunity of future that can allow businesses to make money out of the nascent sector.

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