Maharashtra government has started search for the land in plum locations to offer the US electric carmaker Tesla to build its plant in India. According to industry sources, the government is likely to offer the land in prime locations in Pune, Nashik and Nagpur. Karnataka is also trying to lure the marquee carmaker to the state.
"Maharashtra has the geographical advantage as the central state in the country. Besides, the state is strategically located for exports to Asian countries, Middle-East and Africa," said an official on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, State Industries Minister Subhas Desai and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray held a video conference with Tesla's senior management soon after Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, tweeted that iconic electric carmaker could enter the Indian market next year. The Karnataka government held talks with Tesla officials for setting up an R&D centre in Bangaluru.
Minister Aaditya Thackrey had earlier tweeted, "This evening I had the opportunity to participate in a video call by Industries Minister Subhash Desai with Tesla team to invite them to Maharashtra. I was present not because of just the investment but my firm belief in electric mobility & sustainability."
According to the press statement from Desai's office, the Maharshtra government is rolling out the red carpet to the company. Desai told the Global Director of Tesla, Rohan Patel, that the 2019 industrial policy of Maharashtra lays special emphasis on non-polluting e-vehicles. Desai also said, the state government will accord customised "VIP treatment along with commensurate basic infrastructure facilities and special incentives for the company to make its foray into the India automotive industry."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Musk at Tesla's headquarters in 2015 after which the company had expressed interest in setting up a lithium ion manufacturing facility in India. But that plan has not taken off yet.
Tesla, which has a market capitalisation of $394 billion, accounts for a 20 per cent global market share for electric vehicles of the plug-in and charge varieties. Tesla Motors has a total of four facilities for producing electric motors and battery packs with the recent Gigafactories in Shanghai and Berlin.