Elon Musk recently tweeted a global map of Superchargers, which are charging stations for electric vehicles that Tesla is known for. The map features future supercharging station locations, which included locations in the USA, Mexico, Europe, China, Japan, Australia and a few in the UAE as well.
And as Indian Twitterati were quick to point out, there were none planned in India.
“No Tesla in India” was the tweet with a crying gif that got Musk’s attention. Replying to the tweet, Musk said, “Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately. Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India. Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should.”
Ahuja, the Chief Financial Officer, who first joined Tesla in 2008 is an IIT Varanasi graduate from the class of 1985 and is claimed to be one of Musk’s close confidantes. He was also believed to be the one who saved the company from going bankrupt nearly a decade ago.
It was in 2008 when Ahuja was hired as the CFO with the mammoth task to save the company from bankruptcy. The auto industry had just taken a massive beating and Ahuja’s experience with Ford helped him pull the challenging task at Tesla.
So Musk placing his confidence in Ahuja for an epic release into India is no small thing. And we can soon expect Tesla to make its way here.
But before we start flaunting our hype caps, we should know this is not the first time Musk announced plans for India. In 2017, Musk had said he hoped to launch Tesla by that summer. But unfortunately, his hope did not turn into reality.
And there is a good reason too.
In May 2017, he was humble enough to point out why. Responding to a tweet asking him about the release date of Tesla in India, Musk said, “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.”
It’s true that the Make in India initiative requires foreign companies to source at least 30% of their products locally. Hence hindering Tesla’s plan in India.
But the company is in talks with the government and has many other plans for India.
The firm has plans of setting up a cross-country network of superchargers in India, to boost the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country. But that too is not concrete as of now.
But there is no reason not to hope that Tesla won’t make it to India, as the nation is set to become the third-largest auto-car manufacturer by 2020. And Tesla investing in the nation’s market would drive the future into the right path for both parties.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)