Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the opening of a factory for assembling branded electric vehicles is “quite likely” if the country can arrange imports of these cars on adequate terms.

At the moment, according to Bloomberg sources, the American electric car manufacturer is conducting an active lobbying campaign in India to reduce import duties on cars. This is due to the fact that Tesla is seriously considering plans for Indian expansion, considering the country one of the world’s largest developing car markets.

“Import duties are currently the highest in the world among all major countries. Moreover, the attitude towards environmentally friendly cars [in the country] is the same as towards diesel or gasoline, which does not fit well with India’s climate goals, ”was how Musk responded to a question about Tesla’s Indian prospects.

At the moment, import duties on cars in India are between 60 and 100%, while Tesla is seeking to reduce them to at least 40%. If the local authorities are able to offer at least a temporary reduction in duties and the manufacturer can successfully establish the import of its products into the country, then the construction of a plant here will be quite likely, Musk said.

Electric vehicle sales in India account for less than 1% of all passenger vehicles, including two-wheelers, while in China, where Tesla built its first factory outside the United States and established a strong market position, this figure has already risen to 5%.

The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has pledged to support the electric vehicle industry, although, in addition to high import duties, this is still hampered by poor charging infrastructure and high prices for the cars themselves.