Tesla has knocked on Tata’s doors to seek help in setting up charging infrastructure for its soon-to-be-released electric cars in India.
According to sources in the know, the discussion between Tesla and Tata Power regarding the same is in a nascent stage though, and no arrangements have been concretely decided upon.
To gauge the market and the initial demand for its premium electric automobiles, Elon Musk’s Tesla is currently setting up 2-3 retail outlets in the country.
Last month, Karnataka’s Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced that the company will be setting up a manufacturing unit in the Tumkur district of the state. The confirmation came a month after Tesla registered its Indian office in Bengaluru city and named the directors for its Indian arm Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Ltd.
Now, note here that, prior to this recent news surfacing, similar speculations about a possible partnership between the Tata Group and Tesla were also making rounds in the media. But that was quickly rebutted by N Chandrasekar, Chairman – Tata Sons. He mentioned that Tata Motors won’t collaborate with Musk’s Tesla and instead venture into India’s EV market space alone.
Thus, it is very much possible that Tata Group might end up not agreeing to strike a deal with Tesla for helping Tesla build charging infrastructure for their cars, given Musk’s electric cars is in direct competition with Tata Motors in the homefront.
Currently, Tata Son’ automobile-making unit Tata Motors is way ahead of Tesla in terms of rolling out its electric vehicles on Indian streets. It has reportedly managed to already set up charging outlets for its electric SUV Nexon and Jaguar I-Pace (which bagged the ‘Car of the Year’ award in the Geneva Motors show last year).
Tata Motors, quite recently in a statement, mentioned that 22 of their retail automobile outlets across 19 cities are now EV-ready along with being equipped with sales and after-sales support. What more?
As of now, Tata Motors already have 200 charging points for their EV cars in key urban areas of metro cities such as malls, restaurants, offices and so on. Whilst, Elon Musk’s Tesla has only begun to take minuscule steps towards rolling out its vehicles.
Sources familiar with developments related to Tesla’s India debut have mentioned that the company will first introduce only the Model 3 sedan to test the waters and then start taking orders or retailing the rest of its fleet.
They have also mentioned that Tesla will initially import its cars as CBUs or completely built units and then assemble the same to sell in India as their manufacturing plant is not yet production-ready.
It will now be interesting to observe if Tata Power will step in to expedite Tesla’s launch plans in India or simply leave them high and dry. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.