But the most intriguing aspect of his Bay area trip is his visit to the Tesla factory in Fremont.
What could be the agenda there?
Could this visit by our Prime minister accelerate their plans for operations/investment in India?
- Tesla Powerwall
- Tesla electric cars dealerships in India
- Create a Gigafactory in India
Mr Modi has ambitious plans for Solar Power generation in India. Our government has plans to install 100,000MW of solar power by the year 2022. Given these ambitions, energy storage is a big problem to be solved. And a Tesla Powerwall, which is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to store energy at a residential level could be an ideal energy storage solution to effectively use Solar Power.
Currently the Tesla Powerwall costs $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh.
With mass manufacturing, the costs can come down in the future to be a cost effective option for clean energy storage.
Mr Modi could ask Tesla to start selling these energy storage systems and later even manufacture them in India to further lower the costs.
Tesla electric cars dealerships in India
Trip Chowdhry, Managing Director at Global Equities Research makes a very ambitious statement regarding
Tesla electric cars in India.
“PM Modi may invite Tesla to initially open 4 to 5 Tesla Dealerships in India,” Chowdhry said. “Our research indicates that Tesla could easily initially sell between 10,000 to 12,000 Model S a year in India."
While Mr Chowdhry is bullish about Tesla’s chances in India, we are not sure. A Tesla Model S manufactured in USA and sold here could cost Rs 60 Lakhs (assuming 90,000 USD after taxes and duties for the base model).
Tesla would really struggle to sell the car, at that price and that too without Supercharger infrastructure.
Maybe the mass-market Model 3, which will be launched at a price of $35,000, after 3 years, could have a chance.
But definitely not the Model S and definitely not now.
A Gigafactory in India, with full government support, can be attractive for Tesla as it will dramatically reduce costs for them and also reduce shipping times to markets in the far east.
The Gigafactory 1, in construction in Nevada, USA will reduce the production cost for their Electric vehicle battery and Powerwall packs by 30%
Imagine a Gigafactory 2, in India, which would further reduce costs.
Tesla has received $800m of orders ($179m PowerWall, $625m PowerPack) within 1 week of unveiling the Tesla PowerWall. Mr Elon Musk estimates that the Gigafactory 1 would not be enough to supply demand.
There is competition from Japan, China, who are established electronics manufacturing centers, to setup the 2nd Gigafactory.
So team Modi will really have to announce something big, if they are serious about 'making Li-Ion battery packs in India'.
A Gigafactor in India, is the most outlandish expectation.
But for visionaries like Modi and Musk, nothing is impossible!
We @ PluginIndia.com will update this blog, as news filters in about any announcements made.
"Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Prime Minister Modi discussed Tesla's developments in battery technology, energy storage, and renewable energy and the positive implications of this innovation for India," Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes told PTI.
Speaking to ANI, CEO Elon Musk said, "Modi and I talked about electricity generation and how arguably there's a way to skip ahead with it as with cell phones."
So the discussion was about 'The Powerwall', which makes complete sense as energy via de-centralized grids are the future.
Great stuff by Mr Modi and Mr Musk!