Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that he visited Tesla’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, at a time when the centre is reportedly considering a request from Elon Musk-run electric car company to lower tariffs for imported electric vehicles (EVs). Goyal posted on X that it was “extremely delighted to see talented Indian engineers and finance professionals working at senior positions and contributing to Tesla’s remarkable journey to transform mobility”.
Visited @Tesla’s state of the art manufacturing facility at Fremont, California.
Extremely delighted to see talented Indian engineers & finance professionals working at Senior positions and contributing to Tesla’s remarkable journey to transform mobility.
“Also proud to see the growing importance of Auto component suppliers from India in the Tesla EV supply chain. It is on its way to double its components imports from India. Missed Elon Musk’s magnetic presence and I wish him a speedy recovery,” the Union Minister added.
The Tesla owner, however, apologised to Goyal for not being able to meet him as he was keeping unwell.
“It was an honour to have you visit Tesla! My apologies for not being able to travel to California today, but I look forward to meeting at a future date,” Musk replied.
Goyal and Musk were scheduled to meet during the Minister’s US visit, months after the SpaceX and X owner met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US, and revealed he was keen to make significant investments in India.
According to a latest Financial Times report, citing sources, the automaker has asked the Indian government for an initial tariff concession that would offset India’s steep customs duties of 70 per cent for cars under $40,000 and 100 per cent for cars above $40,000.
“Their view has always been that they need some tariff concessions at least in the interim period. It would have some kind of sunset clause,” one of the officials was quoted as saying in the report.
Tesla had asked for the concession as a condition for constructing a plant in the country.
The reduced tariffs would apply to all EV manufacturers.
The officials stated that the reduced rate under consideration would be 15 per cent for EVs of all prices, but that the policy had not yet been agreed upon within the government, the report mentioned.
In September, reports surfaced that Tesla is planning to build a factory for battery storage in India and has submitted a proposal for the same to the government. The electric car-maker proposed supporting the country’s battery storage capabilities with its ‘Powerwall’ during recent meetings. Musk is also aiming to build a Tesla supply system in India.