US electric vehicle maker Tesla has cleared a procedural hurdle in India, taking it a step closer to rolling out cars in the world’s fourth-largest automobile market.
Tesla now has four vehicles approved in India, according to data published on a dashboard operated by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
However, it is unclear as to which Tesla models or their variants cleared the process. Local media outlets have reported that the Model 3 and Model Y were being tested on Indian roads.
The approval process involves a series of tests that help determine whether a vehicle meets domestic norms. The government dashboard lists Tesla India Motors and Energy under the ‘M1’ vehicle category, which denotes “a motor vehicle used for the carriage of passengers, comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat”.
NASDAQ-listed Tesla’s stock was up 2.7% to $730.91 at 14:17 hours Indian time (UTC+5:30).
Earlier, Indian automobile components manufacturer Bharat Forge, in a 30 August regulatory filing, denied it was in talks to supply critical parts to Tesla.
Bharat Forge, the nation’s largest exporter of auto parts, has a market capitalisation of around INR339.62bn on the National Stock Exchange.
The clarification followed a Business Standard report that said Tesla was in talks with three Indian firms – Sona Comstar, Sandhar Technologies and Bharat Forge – for critical electrical, electronic and mechanical components.
Tesla and Volkswagen, the world's second-largest carmaker, are lobbying for lower import duties on electric cars in India, Reuters reported earlier in the month.
A Tesla factory in India is “quite likely” if the firm is successful with imported vehicles there, chief executive Elon Musk said on Twitter in July.