Tesla will bring EV plant to southern India, reports say


BANGALORE — Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. will set up an electric-car manufacturing unit in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, according to a government document seen by Reuters on Saturday.

“The U.S. firm Tesla will be opening an electric car manufacturing unit in Karnataka,” the state government said in a brief statement.

The statement was part of a broader document outlining the highlights of India’s budget to its people in the local language of Kannada.

The Press Trust of India also reported that the southern state’s chief minister B S Yediyurappa announced the plan.

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, tweeted “as promised” in response to a report on a Tesla-focused blog that the automaker was in talks with several Indian states to open an office, showrooms, an R&D center and possibly a factory in India.

Last month, the EV maker incorporated Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited with its registered office in the city of Bangalore in Karnataka, a hub for global technology companies.

State Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had then said in a tweet, which was subsequently deleted, that Tesla would start its operations in India with an R&D unit in Bangalore.

It was not immediately clear if the Saturday statement was referring to the same unit.

Tesla and the office of Karnataka state chief minister did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comments.

India has been keen to reduce its oil dependence and cut down on pollution, but its efforts to promote EVs have been stymied 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, Reuters reported last year.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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