Elon Musk isn’t giving up on bringing Tesla to India.
“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” Tesla’s billionaire chief executive officer said in a Twitter post, nearly ten months after he blamed restrictive policy for delaying the carmaker’s entry into the world’s fourth largest automobile market.
The Narendra Modi-led government has been wooing Tesla to set up a factory but Musk, in a May 2018 Twitter post, had pointed to “some challenging government regulations” as a hurdle. The year before, he had sought temporary waiver on import penalties and other restrictions until a local facility is built.
Tesla broke ground in January on a $5 billion factory in China, its first car-manufacturing facility outside the US, after four years of planning. Tapping overseas markets may help the US-based automaker stave off a potential dip in demand on its home turf.
While India is a promising market for electric vehicle makers, it has lagged far behind neighboring China, plagued by minimal government support for cleaner technology and paucity of charging stations.
With similar populations, India has a mere 6,000 passenger electric vehicles on its roads, compared with China’s 1.35 million, according to Bloomberg NEF data. It also had just 425 publicly available charging points at the end of 2017 but that is expected to rise to 2,800 charging points by 2022, according to BNEF.