India, turning green, is potential gold.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will probably visit Tesla HQ this month, says the Times of India. Why does this matter? Because Tesla’s pornographically-named car is likely headed for India, says CIO Jay Vijayan.
Both China and India are fixer-uppers for sure, India arguably worse, but they’re both potential home runs for Tesla. Here’s a TeslaMondo comparison:
China: Big automotive market, plenty of wealthy customers, smoggy air, emerging government policies on cleaning it, and a willingness to prop EVs with specific rule-making. But it ain’t playing fair with US companies, says Tesla.
India: Big automotive market, plenty of wealthy customers, smoggy air, lots of government “green” rhetoric that so far hasn’t grown teeth, and a problematic 100 percent import duty.
Tesla plans to chat with Indian officials about that duty. An Indian assembly plant might be the ticket. “We have identified India is one of the potential markets in Asia to have a local assembly plant, but we need a definite policy from the government to support electric vehicles in the future,” Vijayan told the Economic Times.
Neither China nor India has solid EV infrastructure, but India arguably lacks ANY infrastructure. TeslaMondo has already written about India’s extreme challenge in civil engineering — specifically, finding civil engineers in the first place. India’s young and educated aren’t keen on gritty careers in roads, bridges, electrical delivery etc. Understandably, they’re keen on a clean work environment and good pay. That means computer-based careers, and likely outside of India.
The worst electrical blackout in world history? Three years ago, in India. “Hello, Tesla Energy . . . ?”
India does have fledgling environmentalism. It comes from the lower classes and trickles upwards — generally the opposite of American environmentalism. In the US, it’s vogue to be “green.” It’s not vogue in India. It’s a matter of survival. The Indian agricultural sector is fighting to keep industry off its turf. Long story short: India is slowly coming around.
Another intriguing tidbit in India: Locally-based Mahindra and Mahindra makes electric vehicles, and has nibbled at Tesla’s patents. Perhaps Mahindra and Tesla will team up to build a duty-free Model III. It even rhymes, at least in English.