Monday, July 15, 2024
NewsTesla Explores Low-Cost EV Factory in India

Tesla Explores Low-Cost EV Factory in India

Tesla explores the idea of establishing an electric vehicle factory in India to create affordable EVs for the local market.


  • Tesla in discussions with Indian authorities to set up an EV factory.

  • Specific details about the proposed low-cost EV model and its features remain undisclosed.

  • The potential establishment of an EV factory in India opens new possibilities for Tesla’s global expansion.


Tesla is engaged in discussions with Indian authorities to potentially set up an electric vehicle factory in India. The proposed factory would be dedicated to manufacturing a low-cost EV model, with plans to cater to the domestic Indian market and possibly other regions as well. India’s stringent taxes on imported vehicles have been cited as a key motivating factor for Tesla’s interest in local production.

Tesla Model 2 Rendering | @Theottle via Instagram

A recent meeting between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Indian President Narendra Modi further underlines Tesla’s intention to invest in the world’s most populous nation. With India’s estimated population surpassing China’s, the potential for EV adoption and growth in the Indian market appears promising.

Tesla Model 2 Rendering | @Theottle via Instagram

This is not the first instance of Tesla exploring manufacturing possibilities in India. In 2021, the company hinted at a potential factory location in Karnataka, India, but definite plans did not materialize. Elon Musk has been expressing interest in producing Teslas in India since 2017, initially seeking temporary relief on import penalties and restrictions until a local factory could be established.

2022 Tesla Model Y Performance | Photo: Vincent Aubé
2022 Tesla Model Y Performance | Photo: Vincent Aubé

While Tesla’s discussions with Indian authorities are ongoing, specific details about the proposed low-cost EV model remain scarce. In 2021, speculation centered around the possibility of introducing the never-realized Tesla Model 2 to the Indian market. Additionally, Elon Musk mentioned the company’s efforts to develop a small vehicle priced around $25,000. However, the timeline for its release and specific features were not fully disclosed.

2021 Tesla Model Y SR | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

One of the key considerations for Tesla’s approach in India involves addressing the country’s unique driving conditions and market preferences. Tesla acknowledges the need for a small hatchback that could be well-suited for countries like India, where navigating crowded roads and parking spaces can be challenging. Thus, the company envisions a compact vehicle, often referred to as the “Model 2,” that could potentially find relevance in various international markets.

2021 Tesla Model Y SR Quick Review: It’s Enough to Make You A Believer

Rumors have surfaced that Tesla might consider building the small car at its Shanghai plant. However, this approach would not enable Tesla to avoid Indian import duties. Instead, the focus remains on evaluating strategies to introduce an affordable EV model priced around 2 million Indian Rupees (approximately $24,000). For comparison, Tesla currently sells its larger Model 3 for about $32,000 in China.

Elon Musk Tesla
Elon Musk | Photo: Tesla

While there is interest in the prospect of Tesla’s low-cost EV being offered in the U.S., it is crucial to consider the distinct regulatory requirements and safety standards in both countries. India’s specific mandates for stability control, airbags, anti-lock braking systems, and seat belt reminders differ from those in the U.S. This divergence may influence Tesla’s approach to offering the Model 2 or a similar low-cost EV in different markets.


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