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 in 2019 or 2020.
Replying to a Twitter follower, Musk has recently said “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!”.
Tesla has not started making electric vehicles in India yet because of some challenging government regulations, Musk said in May, 2017.
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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.
In August, 2018, 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.