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Tesla sets up India unit ahead of entering market later this year

Move comes as PM Modi touts EVs in bid to reduce oil dependence and pollution

Tesla registered its India unit in the southern city of Bengaluru.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- Tesla has moved a step closer to its launch in India later this year by registering a company in the country, a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.

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

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

India's transport minister Nitin Gadkari told a local newspaper in December the U.S. electric carmaker would start with sales and then might look at assembly and manufacturing.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has tweeted several times in recent years, including as recently as October 2020, about an impending foray into India.

The move comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting the production and use of electric vehicles to reduce the country's oil dependence and cut down on pollution.

But efforts have been stymied by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure such as charging stations.

To boost investment, India plans to offer $4.6 billion in incentives to companies setting up advanced battery manufacturing facilities, according to a government proposal seen by Reuters.

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