India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari has proposed supporting joint ventures between Tesla and Indian car companies at a meeting with Tesla senior executives.
In discussions at Tesla’s factory near San Francisco, Gadkari also called on the electric vehicle and energy storage specialist Tesla to set up an Asian manufacturing hub within India and even offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.
In perhaps one of the most visible attempts to bolster prime minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, which seeks to establish India as major global manufacturing centre, Gadkari explained to Tesla executives that India wants to bring in pollution-free road transport, particularly in commercial and public motor vehicles.
A Tesla executive said India would certainly be a market for its next generation model-3 and the firm would be considering the Indian offer of cooperation at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, the executive admitted that Tesla will be looking to set up a manufacturing hub outside the US.
The Tesla team also revealed that they have future plans for electric trucks and pick up vans, but not buses and two wheelers.
Meanwhile, Tesla is also inviting suggestions for locations in India to demonstrate how its energy storage systems can be used in conjunction with electricity from solar and the power grid.