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US electric car giant Tesla hires office space in Pune amid talks of setting up factory

Elon Musk, CEO Tesla (Photo: IANS)

US electric car giant Tesla has hired office space in Pune on a five-year lease which appears to be an indication that the company is seriously moving ahead with its plans to set up a factory in India.

According to a report in leading financial daily The Economic Times, Tesla has leased the office at Panchshil Business Park in the Viman Nagar area of Pune for a 5-year period that is extendable by another five years which seems to reflect a long-term plan for the fast-growing Indian market.

The development comes as executives of the Elon Musk-owned company have been holding discussions with senior Indian government officials on plans to set up an electric vehicle making factory in the country.

Tesla executives have been holding discussions with Indian officials on their investment plans to build a new low-cost $24,000 (about Rs 19.86 lakh) electric vehicle, according to a Reuters report.

The talks continued over the past week with Tesla discussing minute details of its plans to gain access to India’s fast-growing EV market, and Modi personally tracking developments, Reuters cited sources as saying.

Tesla plans for India have picked up momentum after Musk met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York in June this year during his state visit to the USA.

“He (Modi) really cares about India because he’s pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something we intend to do,” Musk told reporters after the meeting.

“I am confident that Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible.”

Later, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson tweeted that PM Modi had invited Musk to “explore opportunities in India for investments in electric mobility and rapidly expanding commercial space sector.”

Musk also said last month that Tesla would probably pick a location for a new factory by the end of this year as he referred to India as “an interesting place for a new plant.”

The developments are taking place while Tesla has been looking to set up a manufacturing base outside China as the Communist giant has been further alienated under US sanctions and come under fire for concealing the truth about the devastating Covid-19 outbreak that killed millions of people worldwide.