Tesla Inc has for a long time now wished to enter the Indian market but strict import regulations by the current government are a cause for the hold-up
In what is perceived to be super exciting news for all electric vehicle (EV) aficionados particularly Tesla fans, the American EV manufacturer might enter the Indian market next year. And there is formidable authority to back this claim.
The development was confirmed by none other than Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk on social media. An unofficial Tesla fan club with the Twitter handle @TeslaClubIN asked Musk when the company was planning to enter India as an automaker. To which the Tesla founder replied, “Next year for sure”.
Replying to a post on the micro-blogging site which featured T-Shirts printed with messages- ‘India Wants Tesla’ and ‘India Love Tesla’, Musk wrote, “Thanks for waiting”. Soon after this, the tweet went viral as it garnered a lot of attention, especially from Indians.
Current Scenario For EVs in India
Interestingly, this development comes at a time when recently Tesla’s entry into the Indian market was teased earlier this month. According to some reports, Tesla has been in talks with some officials of the Indian government to open a research and development facility in the country. According to the report, Tesla also showed some interest in investing in a research and innovation centre in Karnataka.
The report suggested that talks were still in preliminary stages. The company thought of Karnataka because it was the first Indian state to establish a dedicated electric vehicle policy. Seeing this many other states like Delhi have followed suit with their own EV policy. Tesla’s entrance into India comes at a time when the Central government is pushing hard for the EV segment. The government in the recent past has been promoting the manufacture and use of EVs very extensively.
Why the Delay
Musk had earlier admitted that he would Tesla to set up its business in India. However, there are still some big hurdles to overcome as import duties into India are as high as 100 percent which might make Tesla electric cars way out of reach for most Indians. Tesla is seeking temporary relief from the government on import penalties and restrictions. However, the only sustainable solution to this is to locally manufacture Tesla products in India.
First Tesla in India
Tesla’s latest product in its portfolio has been Model 3 which is being manufactured in China. It has already sold over 11,000 units of Model 3 in China in August this year. The American EV brand is also setting up a new car manufacturing facility in Shanghai which is expected to start functioning from next year. It is this car which is expected to be the first Tesla to be launched in India