Tesla, the American electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy company, is reportedly considering a significant expansion into India. Sources familiar with the matter have disclosed that the company is exploring the establishment of not one but two factories in the country—one dedicated to manufacturing electric vehicles and another aimed at producing and selling Tesla’s popular “Powerwall” battery storage systems.
While Tesla has been in discussions with Indian authorities about the prospect of setting up an EV manufacturing facility, it appears that CEO Elon Musk is also keen to introduce the Powerwall battery to the Indian market. Sources, who requested anonymity due to the confidential nature of the matter, have revealed that Tesla has submitted a proposal seeking incentives to establish a factory for the production of storage batteries in India.
Tesla’s recent focus in India has been on the creation of a factory that could produce an electric vehicle with a targeted price of approximately $24,000. Notably, these discussions have been held under the direct oversight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demonstrating the government’s commitment to fostering Tesla’s presence in India.
While Tesla’s EV plans have received considerable attention, its intentions in renewable energy and battery storage have remained relatively undisclosed until now. During recent meetings in New Delhi, Tesla proposed enhancing India’s battery storage capabilities with its Powerwall system. The Powerwall is designed to store energy generated from sources like solar panels or the grid, making it a valuable asset during nighttime power outages or periods of high demand.
Although Tesla initially sought incentives to establish a storage battery factory in India, sources indicate that these incentives might not be available. However, Indian officials are considering alternative measures, such as subsidies for customers who purchase Tesla’s battery storage products, potentially creating a more favorable business environment for the company.
While both Tesla and the Indian government are interested in the proposal, it remains uncertain whether the plan will come to fruition, according to the first source.
The introduction of the Powerwall in India is part of Tesla’s broader strategy to expand its presence beyond electric vehicles. The second source revealed that Tesla is eager to tap into both residential and industrial markets in India, suggesting that large-scale policy adjustments may be necessary to accommodate Tesla’s intent to establish the Powerwall business in the country.
Tesla, the Indian government’s chief spokesperson, and the commerce ministry have not yet provided official comments on these reports.
Despite its efforts to increase electricity supplies to its towns and villages, India continues to face peak-time shortages, mainly due to its reliance on coal-based power generation. Storage technologies like Tesla’s Powerwall could play a crucial role in addressing this issue and increasing the reliability of the Indian power grid.
To achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals, India is targeting an increase in non-fossil fuel power capacity to 500 GW by 2030, up from the current 186 GW. Tesla’s Powerwall, a sleek and versatile battery storage unit designed for domestic and light commercial use, could find a significant market in India, especially with government support and incentives.
It’s worth noting that while Powerwall currently costs more than $5,500 in California, the addition of solar panels can increase the overall price. However, the product is eligible for US federal tax credits and various state and utility solar and energy storage incentives. Recently, Powerwall users in Houston and Dallas even agreed to sell surplus power back to the Texas electric grid, showcasing its potential benefits for consumers and grid operators.
As Tesla explores these new horizons in India, reducing the cost of battery storage products and working closely with the Indian government to unlock the market’s potential are expected to be key factors in the company’s success. With India’s burgeoning demand for clean energy solutions, Tesla’s ambitious plans could reshape the energy landscape in the country.
Journalist covering politics, economics, commodities, and more.