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Musk meets Modi, says Tesla wants to come to India

Musk said he planned to visit India next year. Image courtesy: Twitter

Tesla is looking to invest in India "as soon as humanly possible," the electric vehicle maker's CEO Elon Musk told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York.

Asked about his company's plans for the country, Musk replied: "I am confident that Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible." Musk added that he planned to visit India next year, and called his conversation with the PM "fantastic".

"India has more promise than any large country in the world. He (Modi) really cares about India because he's pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something we intend to do. We are just trying to figure out the right timing," Musk said, adding, "I would like to thank the prime minister for his support and hopefully we'll be able to announce something in the not too distant future."

Musk told reporters India had strong potential for "all three pillars" of the sustainable energy space, including solar power, stationary battery packs and electric vehicles.

Tesla had planned to enter the Indian market last year, but opted not to go ahead, citing the country's high import tax structures. The company's executives visited India last month and held talks with bureaucrats and ministers about establishing a manufacturing base for Tesla's cars and batteries. The pioneering EV maker's Model Y is now the top-selling car globally.

Musk, who has said Tesla could decide the location for a new factory by the end of this year, has indicated that India was a possible contender. France could also be in the race: French President Emmanuel Macron met Musk earlier this month, and is known for his personal involvement in wooing battery makers to the Gallic nation.

For Tesla, the positive coverage didn't end there.

EV rival Rivian announced it would adopt the company's charging connector, joining a list of carmakers and charging companies making the shift. Rivian said the agreement would enable its customers to access Tesla's network of 12,000 Superchargers across North America from 2024. The company also said its vehicles would come fitted with Tesla's North American Connector Standard (NACS) charging port from 2025.

Also on Tuesday, charging company BTC Power announced its decision to offer NACS connectors on its charging network. And the US state of Texas passed a law mandating EV charging companies to offer Tesla's connector at its facilities, in addition to a rival charging connector, known as CCS.

Texas, which said it would require direct current fast chargers to have one CCS and one NACS connector, is the first US state to pass such a law, but others such as California and Michigan are taking note.

Analysts said the decision could boost Musk's hope of making NACS America's industry-standard connector. 

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