Tesla Mulls Setting Up New India Research Center- Report

Tesla (TSLA) held exploratory discussions with Karnataka government officials on September 10 about setting up a research facility in Bengaluru, the capital of India’s Karnataka state, reports The Economic Times.

According to the report, a further meeting is set for later this month, at which state officials are expected to present a detailed proposal to the Tesla executives.

“Tesla has shown initial interest to invest in a research and innovation centre in Karnataka and the talks are at a preliminary stage,” said one of The Economic Times’ sources, but did not give any further information.  

As the report notes, Bengaluru already boasts major international companies such as Daimler, Bosch and Mahindra Electric- as well as EV startups Ola Electric, Sun Mobility and Ather. “Karnataka is the first state to come up with an electric vehicle policy, hoping to generate investments of `31,000 crore in EV R&D and manufacturing” writes The Economic Times.

Shares in Tesla dropped 6% in Monday’s after-hours trading, after climbing 2% during the day. Nonetheless the electric vehicle maker has exploded over 400% year-to-date, and as a result the average analyst price target indicates 30% downside potential from current levels.

Tesla scores a cautious Hold consensus from the Street. Five-star analyst Daniel Ives at Wedbush recently ramped up the stock’s price target to $475 from $380, but reiterated his Hold rating. He expects Tesla to announce a number of new potential “game changing” battery developments at today’s event.

“We believe the company is getting closer to announcing the million mile battery at this highly anticipated event,” Ives told investors. “In our opinion this battery technology will be very advanced, potentially last for decades, withstand all types of weather/terrain, and be another major milestone for the Tesla ecosystem.”

“Another linchpin to Tesla’s battery innovations and the Street’s focus of the upcoming Battery Day will be reducing battery production costs on a trajectory to the key $100/kWh threshold as this would give Tesla much more financial flexibility around pricing on current and future EV models with price parity,” he added. (See Tesla’s stock analysis on TipRanks)

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