Why TN says it’s the best place for Tesla to set up its plant

Tamil Nadu, like other states are trying their best to woo Elon Musk to set up his Tesla manufacturing facility in their state. The state already has a thriving auto manufacturing sector, easy access to Chennai port and a 300-acre EV park to attract the business magnate

The Tamil Nadu industries minister Thangam Thenarasu listed out all the advantages that the state offers for EV manufacturing in a tweet tagging the Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Several Indian states are competing with each other to woo Elon Musk to set up Tesla’s electric vehicle manufacturing facility in their states. The very first to woo Musk was the Telangana Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao and soon after, other states swiftly followed suit. Punjab, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra ministers and political leaders took to twitter tagging Musk’s social media handles to roll out the red carpet inviting him to set up Tesla’s facility in their states.

In his tweet, the Tamil Nadu Industries Minister Thangam Thenarasu showcased the advantages of setting up shop in the state along with a photograph of the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. He gave details to drive home the message that Tamil Nadu is the ‘capital’ of EV vehicle manufacturing in the country. The minister also mentioned the names of the major car manufacturing facilities which are already present in and around Chennai.

Ola Electric, Ather, TVS, Ampere, M Auto are some of the EV manufacturers who have set up shop in Tamil Nadu, he said. Thenarasu also highlighted the 300-acre electric vehicle park that is coming up in Tiruvallur.

Compared to all the other big states wooing Elon Musk, Tamil Nadu has an advantage in the form of better connectivity. Most of the car manufactures are within 100 to 150 km from the Chennai port.


Also read: When is Tesla’s electric vehicle coming in India? Musk has an answer

Meanwhile, a senior industries department official told The Federal, “The best place for Musk to set up his factory will be near Chennai. At present, Ashok Leyland, Nissar, BMW, Caterpillar, Daimler, Ford, Mahindra and Mahindra, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Renault, Royal Enfield etc., are some of the well-known car manufactures who have set up factories in and around Chennai.”

All these factories are well connected by road, rail and can reach the airport or Chennai port within a few hours. Chennai port is currently being used by all the car manufacturers to send their cars to other states within India and also for export.

“We are ready to lay out a red carpet for Musk to set up his factory in the state. A big electric vehicle park is coming up in Tiruvallur and Musk can set up his factory in this park, which is close to the Chennai port,” pointed out the official.

According to the Tamil Nadu government, the ball is the Centre’s court. “Musk and the Indian government have been in talks for years, but there are disagreements over a local factory and import duties which have led to an impasse,” said the official. “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government,” Musk had said in a Twitter post last week while replying to a user who’d asked if there was any update on Tesla’s launch in India.

Official sources said that while the Centre wanted Tesla to set up a factory to sell locally and export, Musk has insisted on slashing import duties by nearly 100 per cent so that Tesla can first establish a market before selling locally and exporting it.

The official also added that since Ford has vacated its factory Musk could use that space to manufacture Tesla vehicles. “Talks are going on with many car manufacturers but if Tesla is interested in taking over this factory, they will be welcomed,” said the official.