On June 20, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said that he is planning to visit India next year adding that he is confident that the electric carmaker will be in India and will do so “as soon as humanly possible.”
His comments to reporters were made outside the Lotte New York Palace, following a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived on a historic four-day State visit to the US on June 20. Meanwhile, PM Modi tweeted after his meeting with Musk, “Great meeting you today @elonmusk! We had multifaceted conversations on issues ranging from energy to spirituality.”
Musk said that PM Modi has invited him to India and that he is planning to come to India next year.
He said, “I am planning to visit India next year. I am confident that Tesla will be in India and we will do so as soon as humanly possible.”
“I would like to thank PM Modi for his support and hopefully, we will be able to announce something in the future,” Musk said.
Calling himself a fan of PM Modi, Musk also noted that the prime minister visited a Tesla factory in California many years ago. The Prime Minister had previously met with Musk in 2015 during a visit to Tesla Motors factory in Freemont, California.
“….he really cares about India. He is pushing us to make significant investments in India which is something we intend to do,” Musk said about his meeting with PM Modi.
The Tesla CEO said that he had an “excellent conversation” with PM Modi and that quite likely there will be a significant investment in India.
Speaking on PM Modi’s leadership role in making technology inclusive so that digital infrastructure can be created, he said, “I can say he (Modi) really wants to do the right things for India. He wants to be open, supportive of new companies and at the same time ensures that it accrues to India’s advantage which is..which is obviously that’s the job I’m saying. I am a fan of Modi,” said Musk.
“India has potential for all three pillars of a sustainable energy future, the three pillars being sustainable energy generation through solar and wind primarily, the amount of area you actually need to generate electricity…it is very doable…,” Musk said.
“We are also looking to bring Starlink to India which could be incredibly helpful for rural areas,” he said.
“The Starlink Internet, which I think can be incredibly helpful for sort of remote or rural villages where they perhaps either may have no access to the Internet or the Internet is very expensive and slow,” Musk said.
The Tesla CEO, who also owns Twitter said that the social media giant does not have a choice but to obey local governments or else it will get shut down.
He made the above remarks in response to the company’s former owner and CEO Jack Dorsey’s recent allegation against the Government of India.
“Twitter does not have a choice but to obey local governments. If we don’t obey local government laws, we will get shut down so the best we can do is to work close to the law in any given country, it is impossible for us to do more than that. We will do our best to provide free speech that is possible under the law,” Musk told the reporters.
In response to PM Modi’s tweet regarding his meeting with business leaders in the US, Musk tweeted, “It was an honour to meet again.”
“In the USA, I will also get the opportunity to meet business leaders, interact with the Indian community and meet thought leaders from different walks of life. We seek to deepen India-USA ties in key sectors like trade, commerce, innovation, technology and other such areas,” tweeted PM Modi.
“Well, I’m actually incredibly excited about the future of India. I think India has more promise than any large country in the world,” Musk said.
Earlier, during an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Musk was asked if the automaker was interested in the Indian market. “Absolutely,” he replied.
He added that Tesla will likely finalise a location to set up its India factory by the end of this year.
Notably, his meeting comes days after former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alleged that the BJP-led central government threatened to shut down Twitter in India and have its employees raided at the height of the farmers’ protest in 2020.
(with inputs from ANI)