After reports regarding Tesla CEO Elon Musk's India visit, the mega-billionaire has confirmed that he will meet PM Modi in India this month. "Looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister @NarendraModi in India!," Musk says via his microblogging platform X as several reports emerged on Wednesday that Tesla Inc was scouting for a perfect location to start manufacturing in India. It'll be Musk's third meeting with PM Modi. They both met in June 2023 in New York and before that at Tesla’s Fremont Factory in California in 2015. 

On his upcoming visit to India, the Tesla CEO is set to announce a major investment for Tesla's new factory in the country. Hinting about his company's India plans this week, Musk, while speaking with Nicolai Tangen, CEO, Norges Bank Investment Management, said India should have electric cars just like every other country. "India is now the most populous country in the world, based on population. It's a natural progression to provide Tesla electric vehicles in India," said Musk.

Tesla is reportedly looking at infusing around $2-3 billion in initial investment in India and is scouting for suitable locations, with Maharashtra and Gujarat being the frontrunners. 

Tesla's India entry plays well for the company, which is eying to beat China-based EV major BYD on the global stage. Notably, BYD surpassed Tesla in the global manufacturing of EVs in the last quarter of 2023. 

The production facility in India could ramp up its sales numbers outside two of its biggest markets -- the US and China. Both these countries accounted for 33% of Tesla's global sales in 2023.

As for BYD, the Chinese EV maker recently launched its electric sedan 'Seal' in India, with prices starting from ₹41 lakh (ex-showroom). The Chinese carmaker, which currently imports all its cars, is eyeing the pole position in electric vehicles costing over ₹30 lakh. "We want to be the leader in ₹30 lakh-plus EV segment," Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, senior vice president, BYD India, said in March 2024.

BYD is among the top five electric carmakers in the country. Its proposed $1 billion investment has been stalled due to the government's crackdown on Chinese companies.

In the wake of the global push for EV cars, India also unveiled a new policy in March 2024, slashing import duty, with some riders, to 15% from 100% earlier for certain models.

The new policy says the auto manufacturers are required to invest a minimum amount of ₹4,150 crore or $500 million, with no cap on maximum investment. The government has given a three-year timeline to automakers for setting up new manufacturing facilities in India, and starting commercial production of EVs, and reaching 50% domestic value addition (DVA) within 5 years at the maximum.

Notably, to boost EV production, the government in March, had also unveiled the new Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024, with a total outlay of ₹500 crore for electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers. The new scheme will run for four months from April 1, 2024, to July 31, 2024. 

As per the government estimates, India's EV market is expected to grow to 10 million units annually by 2030 and create 50 million jobs. The EV market is expected to reach $266 billion by 2030. India currently has more than 400 EV start-ups.

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