Piyush Goyal tours Tesla’s US factory; Elon Musk apologizes for his absence

Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal visited Tesla’s manufacturing plant in California on Tuesday. However, the much-awaited meeting between Goyal and the electric car maker’s chief Elon Musk did not happen.

Piyush Goyal at Tesla’s US factory. (X/Piyush Goyal)

“I am extremely pleased to see talented Indian engineers and financial professionals working at senior positions and contributing to Tesla’s incredible journey to transform mobility,” Goyal wrote on X after visiting Tesla’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California.

The minister lauded the “growing importance of automotive component suppliers from India in the Tesla EV supply chain.”

“It is on track to double its component imports from India,” he wrote.

Piyush Goyal is in San Francisco to attend the Ministerial Meetings of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Tesla CEO Musk is likely to meet Goyal to discuss the company’s plans to set up a factory in India. .

“I missed Elon Musk’s charismatic presence and wish him a speedy recovery,” Goyal wrote.

“It was an honor to have you visit Tesla!” “I apologize for not being able to travel to California today, but I look forward to meeting you at a future date,” billionaire Musk responded to the post.

The government plans to offer tax breaks on imports of fully built units of electric vehicles, for a period of up to five years. This is seen as an attempt to attract the likes of Tesla to eventually sell and manufacture its cars in the country, as the electric vehicle market is still at a nascent stage.

Read also: The government is considering five-year tax cuts on electric car imports to attract Elon Musk’s Tesla

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Of the total passenger vehicle sales made last year, electric vehicles accounted for less than 1.5 percent, according to BloombergNEF. The high cost of cars, lack of options and the need to develop charging stations are obstacles to the world’s most populous country’s transition to clean energy.

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