Dropping a big hint on Tesla investing in Gujarat, a minister has said that the company’s co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has his eyes set on the state.
Addressing a Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel was asked whether the EV maker is planning to invest in the state. “We are very hopeful, the Gujarat government is very hopeful. Elon Musk, who is the founder of Tesla, has his eyes set on the state. Let us hope they come to Gujarat,” he said in Hindi.
The minister pointed out that other car manufacturers have their projects in Gujarat and that both the government and the people in the state are business-friendly.
“Tata, Ford and Suzuki (have projects) in Gujarat. Along those lines, Tesla coming here is good for Gujarat’s development. If Tesla comes here, we will welcome them. The government is very assisting. The environment in Gujarat – from the government to the people – is very supportive,” Mr Patel added.
News agency Bloomberg had reported earlier this month, citing sources, that India is closing in on an agreement with Tesla that would allow the company to ship its electric cars to the country from 2024, and set up a factory within two years.
The report said Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are being considered because they already have established ecosystems for electric vehicles and exports, and that an announcement could be made at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January.
The Centre had told Parliament on December 13 that it is not considering cutting taxes on imported electric vehicles. This was significant because Tesla had put its plans of selling its cars in India on hold in 2022, partly because it could not secure lower import taxes.