Tesla takes official step in India entry; Registers company, names directors

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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American electric car maker Tesla has moved a step closer to its launch in India later this year by registering a company under the name Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Ltd, a regulatory filing showed.

Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited was incorporated on January 8 with its registered office in the southern city of Bengaluru, a hub for several global technology companies. The filing shows the Indian unit has three directors including David Feinstein, who is currently a senior executive at Tesla, according to his LinkedIn profile. Vaibhav Taneja and Venkat­rangam Sreeram will be the two others on the director board.

India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari had said earlier in December that the electric carmaker would start with sales and then might look at assembly and manufacturing in the country. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has tweeted several times in recent years, including as recently as October 2020, about an impending foray into India.

The move comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting the production and use of electric vehicles to reduce the country’s oil dependence and cut down on pollution. But efforts have been affected by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure such as charging stations. To boost investment, India plans to offer $4.6 billion in incentives to companies setting up advanced battery manufacturing facilities, according to a government proposal.

The world’s most valuable auto company is likely to make its debut in India with the more affordable Tesla Model 3. Expected to cost around $82,037, the fully electric vehicle is powered by a 60kilowatt per hour lithium-ion battery pack with a range of 500 km. The sedan has a top speed of around 250 km and goes from 0 to 60mph in only 3.1 seconds.