Tesla locks in Bengaluru for setting up its R&D unit


US electric car giant Tesla finally made its entry in India and registered as a company in Karnataka’s Bengaluru prompting Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to welcome CEO Elon Musk to the country and his state.

“Karnataka will lead India’s journey towards Green Mobility. Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Tesla will soon start its operations in India with an R&D unit in Bengaluru. I welcome Elon Musk to India and Karnataka and wish him all the very best,” tweeted Yediyurappa.

Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited was incorporated on January 8 with its registered office in Bengaluru, a hub for several global technology companies.

With more than half a dozen automotive companies, Bengaluru houses one of the biggest clusters of technical and R&D centers in the country. Mercedes-Benz, Great Wall Motors, General Motors, Continental, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bosch, Delphi and Volvo have operational R&D units in Bengaluru.

The Karnataka government claims that more than 45 electric vehicle start-ups are based in Bengaluru, including Mahindra Electric, Ather Energy, and Ultraviolette Automotive. Many of these are focused on two-wheelers. Ola Electric, which recently announced its entry into the electric two-wheeler space, is also based in Bengaluru.

However, the company is also in touch with as many as five states to set up operations in the country – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, could be home to some development from Tesla.

The regulatory filing shows the Indian unit has three directors including David Feinstein, who is currently a senior executive at Tesla, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Last month, Musk had confirmed via Twitter saying by 2021 Tesla could be in India, he tweeted, “Next year for sure” in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.

This could be a revolutionary phase for the Indian electric automation sector.