Tesla has a plans to make and sell battery storage systems in India and submit a proposal to officials seeking incentives to build a factory, two people aware of the plan said, as Elon Musk continues a push to enter in India.
Tesla has in talks about setting up a new electric vehicle (EV) factory in India to build a car priced around $24,000 (approx. Rs. 20 lakh) for weeks, with discussions overseen directly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In recent meetings in New Delhi, Tesla propose supporting the country’s battery storage capabilities with its “Powerwall“, a system that can store power from solar panels or the grid for use at night or during outages, said the sources who decline to be name as the matter is confidential.
As Tesla sought a number of incentives to set up a battery storage factory, Indian officials convey these would not be available, one of the sources said.
But they add that the government could help create a fair business model for the company by offering subsidies to those purchasing such products.
Both Tesla and the Indian government remain keen on the proposal, and New Delhi continues to review it, it is not certain if the plan will be realise, said one of the source.
The Powerwall proposal is part of the US company’s plans for a broader presence in India, thinking beyond EVs, the second source said and Tesla was keen to find residential as well as industrial customers for its battery storage systems.
Both Tesla and the Indian government’s chief spokesperson and the commerce ministry respond to requests for comment.
India has boost electricity supplies to towns and villages but still faces peak-time shortages as demand surges.
It is largely dependent on coal-based power generation as storage technologies are expensive and not yet widespread.
In 2022, India face its worst power crisis in more than 6 years due to coal transportation problems, while delays to adding coal and hydropower capacity have increase the risk of nighttime power cuts, when solar energy is not available.
The country is targeting an increase in non-fossil fuel power capacity to 500GW by 2030, from 186GW now.
What is Powerwall?
Tesla’s Powerwall is a sleek unit around a meter high design to be hung in a garage or outside a house.
During a 2015 visit to Tesla’s California campus accompanied by Elon Musk, PM Modi review the product and later said he had enjoy discussing how battery technology could help farmers.
Powerwall is aim at domestic and light commercial use but Tesla could look at developing larger solutions for industry if the India plan comes to fruition, the second source said, without elaborating more.
Indian officials have also convey that Tesla will have to work on reducing the cost of its battery storage products, the first source said, adding that the government could help to unlock the market with demand expect to be high.
Powerwall costs more than $5,500 (approx. Rs. 4.6 lakh) in California, with additional costs for solar panels.