Elon Musk explains why Tesla is still not in India

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Aug 02 2019
Elon Musk explains why Tesla is still not in India

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HIGHLIGHTS

SpaceX CEO explains why Tesla is still not present in India.

He blames heavy import duty, says the cars will be unaffordable.

The question as to when Tesla will enter the Indian market has been on every EV lover's lips for many years now. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (and SpaceX), often gets asked the same on Twitter and other forums. Many of his replies suggest that a great number of import policies are making Tesla's entry into India infeasible. In a recent reply, the CEO says that the heavy import duties in India will make Teslas unaffordable here.

In a recent reply on Twitter, Musk wrote, “I’m told import duties are extremely high (up to 100%), even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable.” In another reply, he added that for other countries, “we pay in part for the local factory by selling cars there ahead of time. Also, gives a sense of demand. Current rules in India prevent that, but recent changes in sales tax give hope for future changes.”

In Musk's words, challenging government regulations have stopped Tesla from penetrating the Indian EV market despite its best efforts in the last two years. The Indian EV market is sparsely populated at the moment. The most recent entrant is the Hyundai Kona EV, which sells for Rs 25.30 lakh (ex-showroom). Other notable models in the market include the Tata Tigor EV, Mahindra eVERITO, and the Mahindra e2o. Maruti is expected to launch an electric version of its popular hatchback Wagon R in the coming year.

If Tesla decides to enter India, it could start by introducing the Model S and Model X, which currently sell in the US for $80,000 (Rs 55 lakh approx) and $85,000 (Rs 59 lakh approx). With an import duty of up to 100 percent, a model in the current range will end up costing over a crore in India if Tesla decides to enter the market right now. While we're all eager to see a Tesla on Indian roads, it's probably better to wait for a more practical solution.

 

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