Uber announced today that it has plans to launch a fleet of 25,000 electric vehicles in India, a country where Tesla could soon end up as years of speculation of the electric automaker building a new production facility there could culminate in the company’s newest location by the end of the year.
Uber is using a program called Uber Green to boost financing options as it looks to partner with local fleet operators to expand the presence of electric power trains in India. The ridesharing service also stated that it would like to roll out 10,000 electric two-wheelers in the city of Delhi by 2024.
“India’s huge scale and electrification momentum makes the country a priority for Uber,” Senior Vice President of Mobility and Operations for the company, Andrew Macdonald, said.
Uber plans to be carbon-neutral by 2040 and stated that electrifying large markets like those in southern Asia are” a key piece” to its sustainability goals.
India is attracting a wide range of companies that are involved in the sustainable transportation market. While Uber announced these aggressive electrification goals today, Tesla has been eyeing the country of India as a potential suitor for a production facility of electric vehicles.
Tesla CEO of Elon Musk has met with Indian government officials on several occasions over the past decade, hoping to come to terms on a deal that would see the country host one of the automaker’s manufacturing facilities.
India has favored local manufacturing efforts in an attempt to boost its economy, which has made a partnership between Tesla and the country difficult. Tesla, while interested in building a plant in India, has refused to commit to a factory because it has no way of knowing whether demand is strong enough to justify a manufacturing effort there.
Tesla has requested the Indian government roll back import duties so it could test demand for a short time. However, the government has refused to give the automaker special treatment, maintaining that there is plenty of demand for the vehicles there and that import duties would only be rolled back if Tesla would commit to building a factory first.
This has left the two parties at a relative standstill, but there is no denying that the Indian government is interested in sustainable passenger transportation projects, which leaves plenty of room for both Tesla and India to come to terms eventually.
As Elon Musk hinted yesterday that Tesla could reveal the location of its next production plant by the end of the year, he was asked whether India was a favorable location.
“Absolutely,” he responded.
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