Silicon Valley’s Tesla mulls India entry this summer

Tesla began taking orders for its $35,000 Model 3 sedan from Indian customers in April last year

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Silicon Valley-based electric car maker Tesla is mulling an entry into the Indian market sometime this summer, a little over a year after the company began taking orders for its upcoming Model 3 sedan from customers in the country.

“Hoping for summer this year,” replied Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, to a query on microblogging site Twitter about when the company planned to come to India.

Tesla began taking orders for its $35,000 Model 3 sedan, which is expected to go into production in late 2017, from Indian customers in April last year. The car is expected to become available in the country sometime in 2018 as Tesla plans a staggered launch globally, starting with the US and bringing it to right-hand drive markets later.

Musk’s recent  tweet was devoid of other details such as whether the company would bring its $85,000 plus Model S and Model X offerings to India before the Model 3 goes on sale. In January, Tesla announced that it had sold 76,230 cars in 2016, narrowly missing its sales target of 80,000 units during the year.

There have been several instances now suggesting that India is on the radar forTesla and Musk, not only for selling cars, but also for manufacturing.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in September 2015, he took a tour of Tesla’s plant and met with Musk to discuss use of renewable energy in India’s hinterland. While the cost of storing energy produced from sources such as solar and wind is still far too expensive for India, Musk has been an advocate of lowering costs through mass production. Read more

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