Elon Musk is not giving up on the potentially huge but largely undeveloped electric vehicle (EV) market in India, saying that he ‘would love’ Tesla to be there this year or next.
Replying to a Twitter follower, Musk has recently said “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!,” adding a couple of heart emoticons for India.
Tesla has not started making electric vehicles in India yet because of some challenging government regulations, Musk said in May last year.
Replying to a user commenting on a map of Tesla Superchargers that Musk had tweeted, the EV maker’s chief executive wrote last May:
“Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately.”
In May 2017, Musk tweeted, “Maybe I’m misinformed, but I was told that 30% of parts must be locally sourced and the supply doesn’t yet exist in India to support that.”
A month later, in June, Tesla’s CEO said that he was “In discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built.”
Although India and China are similarly sized with regards to their huge populations, India is lagging far behind China in terms of passenger EV adoption, with just 6,000 passenger EVs, compared to China’s 1.35 million passenger EVs, according to data from Bloomberg NEF. Related: De Beers To Expand World’s Most Profitable Diamond Mine
In August last year, Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) analysts said that India was more focused on electrifying public transport, taxis, and three-wheelers, which comes at the expense of private passenger EVs.
“We remain optimistic on India’s e-bus market, but do not expect large numbers of passenger EVs to be sold until the latter half of the 2020s,” BNEF analysts said.
India’s biggest electrification drive in transportation is taking place in the three-wheeled e-rickshaws which can maneuver in the crowded streets, Bloomberg’s Jill Ward and Anindya Upadhyay wrote in October last year. India has 1.5 million e-rickshaws—more than the total number of passenger EVs in China, they found.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com