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Tesla not opening base at JNPT SEZ: Gadkari

Gadkari said the country would have electric cars, buses and bikes “over the next six months” and that his constituency Nagpur already had 200 electric taxis plying.

Gadkari said the country would have electric cars, buses and bikes “over the next six months” and that his constituency Nagpur already had 200 electric taxis plying.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Iconic electric car maker Tesla is unlikely to open its base at the proposed Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) SEZ, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has indicated.

Speaking at an event here, he said: “My department is concentrating on alternate fuels particularly on electricity” and the work is also being carried out on ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel and CNG.

When asked if the US-based Tesla, which is owned by Elon Musk, would be a part of the proposed SEZ at JNPT which is the country’s largest container port, Gadkari replied in the negative.

According to reports, JNPT, which is building a Special Economic Zone in a 277-hectare plot, was pitching to get Tesla open a manufacturing facility at the proposed facility.

Gadkari had visited Tesla headquarters in San Fransisco last year and had invited the iconic auto and battery—maker to set up a facility in the country and offered land adjoining any port.

The visit by the road transport, shipping and ports minister in the second half of 2016 had come almost a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the facilities of Tesla known for its Model 3 electric cars for which the company has netted over 1 million pre-launch bookings.

Tesla has done advancements on power storage front which has also led it to launch some of the most sought after electric cars. There is also an ongoing interest as to when the company launches its products in the country.

Nearly a month after pointing out to the impediments posed by government’s ‘Make in India’ push which mandates to have 30% local sourcing, Musk had in June said that he was in discussions with the government “requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built“.

On the government’s resolve to increase electric vehicles, Gadkari said the country would have electric cars, buses and bikes “over the next six months” and that his constituency Nagpur already had 200 electric taxis plying.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2020 12:45:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tesla-not-opening-base-at-jnpt-sez-gadkari/article19485531.ece

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