Tesla’s global senior director David Jon Feinstein, chief accounting officer Vaibhav Taneja and Bengaluru-based entrepreneur Venkatrangam Sreeram are on the board of the India unit, Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt Ltd,, according to disclosures with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. ET has reviewed the documents that were filed last week.
Emails to Tesla did not elicit response till press time.
ET had reported first on September 21 that Tesla was in talks with the Karnataka government for setting up a R&D unit in Bengaluru.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, tweeted last month that the company would be present in India later this year. On December 21, Union Minister for Road Transport, Nitin Gadkari, too, confirmed that Tesla would enter the Indian market in early 2021.
A team from Tesla had initial discussions with Karnataka government officials in September and the state had said that the company had shown interest in investing in a research and innovation centre. A month later, the Maharashtra government, too, held talks with Tesla.
“Since Tesla has invested in a wide range of technology related businesses, there could not have been a better place for the company to open its office in India than Bengaluru,” Gaurav Gupta, additional chief secretary in the state industries department told ET.
“Since Bengaluru is also home to space and aerospace technology, this can lead to several other collaborations in terms of research and production of various consumer related products,” Gupta added.
Tesla, which operates as a single brand retail company, owns and runs outlets, makes batteries and solar panels. Musk also owns SpaceX, the rocket company that has sent humans to space and aims to land human expeditions to the moon and mars. SpaceX also operates Starlink, a planned constellation of thousands of small satellites on low earth orbit to provide high speed broadband across the world.
Karnataka is the first state to unveil an electric vehicles policy, hoping to generate investments of Rs 31,000 crore in EV R&D and manufacturing.
Since then, 11 states including Gujarat, Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have brought out their own EV policies. Bengaluru is also home to promising EV startups in the country such as Ola Electric, Sun Mobility and Ather Energy. Ola signed a deal to set up its scooter making facility in Tamil Nadu recently.