Electric car maker Tesla Inc is in early stage discussions with the industries department of Karnataka government to set up a research and development centre in Bengaluru. Exploratory discussions were conducted on September 19 and a followup meeting is expected later this month, The Economic Times reported citing sources.
The industries commissioner of Karnataka is expected to present a detailed proposal to Tesla executives in the upcoming meeting. The development comes in the backdrop of Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicating in July that the company’s luxury electric cars will “hopefully” come soon to India.
“Tesla has shown initial interest to invest in a research and innovation centre in Karnataka and the talks are at a preliminary stage,” the report quoted one of the sources as saying.
Karnataka, which houses electric vehicle companies like Mahindra Electric, Daimler, Bosch, Ola Electric, Sun Mobility and Ather, was the first state to come up with an electric vehicle policy, hoping to generate investments of Rs 31,000 crore in EV R&D and manufacturing. The development would bring in one of the biggest electric car makers in the world to Karnataka and would bump up the state's image with a high-profile and news making investor marking its presence in a city that is already known as a R&D hub for sectors such as aviation, biotechnology, and information technology.
In July, Musk had tweeted that Tesla will look at another Gigafactory in Asia, outside of China, “but first we need to finish Giga Berlin (for Europe) and a second US Giga to serve eastern half of North America”. Tesla, which overtook Toyota in July as the most valuable automobile company in the world, sells its cars in several markets in Europe, Latin America, Japan, Singapore and Australia, besides China.