Elon Musk Touts Significant India Investment By Tesla

Tesla could be soon about to make a “significant investment” in India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues his state visit to the United States.

Reuters reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said India’s Prime Minister was pushing the car maker to make a “significant investment” in the country, adding that such an announcement was expected soon.

The meeting between Musk and Modi took place on Tuesday during the Indian PM’s state visit to the US. Modi is also expected to meet other tech CEOs including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when they attend the White House state dinner on Thursday.

Image credit: SpaceX

India investment

China is a very important market for Tesla, as it sells a lot of EVs in the country and has manufacturing plants in the country.

So this news that Musk and Indian PM Modi held a meeting on Tuesday is noteworthy. A source previously told Reuters that Musk would brief Modi on plans to set up a manufacturing base in India.

India has strong potential for a sustainable energy future including solar power, stationary battery packs and electric vehicles, Musk was quoted by Reuters as saying, adding that he hopes to bring SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service to India as well.

“He (Modi) really cares about India because he’s pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something we intend to do,” Musk told reporters after the meeting.

“I am confident that Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible,” he added.

But more was to follow when Musk said “I am a fan of Modi,” in a video interview published on Narendra Modi’s official YouTube page.

Musk also said he is “incredibly excited about the future of India,” and said that it has “more promise than any large country in the world.”

Later, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson tweeted saying Modi had invited Musk to “explore opportunities in India for investments in electric mobility and rapidly expanding commercial space sector.”

Space, cars, batteries

Reuters reported that Tesla executives had last month visited India and held talks with Indian bureaucrats and ministers on establishing a manufacturing base for cars and batteries in India.

Musk reportedly said last month Tesla would probably pick a location for a new factory by the end of this year, adding India was an interesting place for a new plant.

Earlier this week it was reported that Google is scouting for local suppliers to move some Pixel production and assembly to India.

India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is offering a number of financial incentives to bolster domestic production, as the country looks to establish itself as an alternative technology manufacturing hub to China.

That comes as big name tech firms look to diversify beyond China, amid worries and concerns about manufacturing dependence on China after its strict Covid lockdowns and an ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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