Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari said that Tesla has been in talks with the government and that they have been asked to make their cars in India. He also said that a Tesla car will be ‘sasti’ and cost Rs 35 lakh.
Tesla is not that expensive anymore, said Gadkari, while speaking at the Game Changers: Climate Action session at the India Today Conclave 2021 on Friday. He added that, in fact, Indian manufacturers can compete well with Tesla. Okinawa Autotech founder and MD Jeetender Sharma and Hop Electric Mobility Founder & CEO Ketan Mehta also participated in the session.
“I asked Tesla officials not to make the car in China and sell it in India. It is something I had in my mind and I told them. Come to India, make it here, sell it here, and export from here. The government will provide you all the help and support you need,” he said.
Tesla will come to the country soon, he said, adding that they have started their marketing. Gadkari, without naming, said that there is another US company, similar to Tesla that has also started its manufacturing.
The minister said that he has driven a Tesla and it is light and beautiful. There are similar technologies in the country too, he stated. “Tata too has made a beautiful car,” he said. All Indian brands, and the ones that are here from overseas, are continuously researching on the technology, said the minister.
Referring to Okinawa and Hop, Gadkari said that it is only a matter of time before smaller players like them take on Tesla. Gadkari also referred to Ola and marvelled at the pace of its EV scooter sales.
“They can give us a product as great as Tesla’s. On top of that, their cost is low too,” said Gadkari.