Tesla to Scout Factory Sites in India as Giga Berlin Begins Production for Indian Export

Tesla is stepping up its efforts to enter India. According to sources, the company is sending a team to find a potential factory in the country while Giga Berlin begins production of right-hand drive cars for the local market.

On Thursday, the Indian newspaper, Hindustan Times, citing insiders, reported that Tesla has begun production of a limited number of right-hand drive versions of Model Y for India at its Giga Berlin. Drive Tesla has also independently confirmed that this information is accurate, although the company itself has not made any official statement. Tesla hopes to have the cars on Indian roads this year, according to a source familiar with the matter.

With the right-hand drive Model Y, Tesla will also be able to advance the development and testing of the charging ecosystem in India, according to the report. Traditionally, the company builds its own Supercharger network in the countries in which it sells its cars, so this step is logical.

The Financial Times also reported that Tesla will send a team to India in April to scout potential locations for an electric vehicle factory in the country. The company is reportedly considering Maharashtra and Gujarat in the west, and Tamil Nadu in southern India. At the moment, Haryana is also being considered as a possible location for Gigafactory construction. All the states mentioned have their advantages. Some have an established supply chain for automakers, and others have access to the sea, which will make it easier to export cars to foreign markets.

As of now, it is expected that, in India, Tesla will start with the production of its new generation car. The company has reportedly already communicated this intention to Indian officials. An insider said the company is considering an initial investment of $2 billion to $3 billion in the Indian factory. Suppliers will invest billions more to be close to Tesla, making this investment one of the largest foreign investments in India. Tesla could later expand the Gigafactory to include its own battery production.

The Indian government recently approved an incentive program for electric vehicle manufacturers. Its biggest beneficiary is Tesla. Car manufacturers can import a limited number of electric vehicles into India at significantly reduced tariffs if they set up production there. This step is fully consistent with Tesla’s intentions and shows that the parties have found a compromise.

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