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NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Monday confirmed that US-based EV maker Tesla will begin operations in India in early 2021.

Speaking at the Indian Express Idea Exchange programme, the minister confirmed that Tesla will start operations firstly with sales and then look at the possibilities of assembly and manufacturing later on depending upon the response in the country.

Tesla became the talk of the town when Elon Musk, CEO of the company, tweeted back in October that the electric car maker is ready to expand its global footprint to India.

According to a report by ET Auto, Tesla is all set to resume bookings next month after 4 years when it last began bookings in 2016 in India. The deliveries are expected to begin only later in the year.

Back in 2016, the automaker had collected a $1000 token amount from potential customers in India in order to book the Tesla Model 3, but Musk later blamed the FDI norms for the delay in deliveries.

As announced earlier, Tesla Model 3 will be the first car to be rolled out in India and this premium offering is expected to be priced somewhere between Rs 60-70 lakh (ex-showroom). Tesla is very unlikely to partner with any dealers in the country and will stick to the same business model in India, selling the cars directly and boosting its digital sales in the country.

Although Tesla itself hasn’t been very vocal about its plan to establish itself in India, the developments this year have been enough to reflect on the automaker’s keenness to tap into one of the world’s biggest auto markets. Back in September, Tesla also held conversations with the Karnataka govt to invest in a research facility, possibly in Bengaluru.