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With an EV policy in place, Karnataka waits for Tesla's investment decision

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on October 05, 2020 Published on October 05, 2020

Karnataka has rolled an Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage Policy coupled with stamp duty exemption in an attempt to woo Tesla Inc which recently tweeted that it plans to invest in India.

Recently, Tesla Inc indicated to the Karnataka government its intention to set up an R&D centre in India and now a couple of days ago, Tesla’s head Elon Musk showed interest in investing in India. This has further boosted the State’s efforts to give a big push for its EV manufacturing.

The State, after adopting an EV policy in 2017, has been tweaking the policy to create the right ecosystem and already seen investment trickling in with good amount of start-ups like Ola Electric, Sun Mobility, Ather and other companies like Toyota and Bosch investing substantially.

Currently, Karnataka is looking at Tesla Inc’s R&D centre for which the government is ready to offer land and other fiscal incentives. If it attracts the company, India will be the second country outside of the US to have a Tesla research centre after China.

Ready to roll out sops

With regard to Tesla’s car manufacturing investment, a senior government official said, “The State loves to house the big company, but we (State government) is not sure if it (Tesla) will opt for an Apple (iPhone maker) model of make in India i.e. using the committed third-party manufacturing. Or the company makes vehicles by bringing in CKD kits and assembling them in India.”

Recently, Jagadish Shettar, Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Industries, said, “To encourage electric mobility, the State government is planning to develop an electric vehicle cluster with a focus on getting local car manufacturers including electric vehicle battery makers in one place.”

According to Shettar, an ecosystem, conducive to e-mobility, is being created in the State as Bengaluru has over 9,000 EVs and boasts of major players like Mahindra Electric, Ather Energy, Yulu, Vogo and NDS Eco Motors.

The State government, according to Shettar, has invited industrial houses Tata Groups and Hindujas to send their investment study teams to explore opportunities in manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs).

“Industrial houses have assured us to send their teams to study investment opportunities in Karnataka in addition to few representatives of a China-based company,” he added.

Already under the Centre’s FAME India II scheme, Karnataka has been allotted 400 e-buses, of which 300 are to be leased by BMTC. The State has decided to hire 6,000 more buses for BMTC, of which 50 per cent will be electric.

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Published on October 05, 2020
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