At Rs 30 lakh, the Tesla Model 3 could be an affordable model in the US, but with the import duties, it will be unavailable in the Indian market with an estimated price tag of around Rs 60 lakh.
This is bad news for Tesla India customers
The rich and well-settled people in India are waiting for Tesla cars to arrive, but in the meantime, a dispute between Elon Musk and the Indian government over import duties has made the wait longer. Tesla has been the most prestigious electric car company to enter the country over the years. Though the Blue Tesla Model 3 was recently spotted on the roads in Pune, Tesla’s long journey won’t be easy yet. A long and painful journey has begun for Musk in India, where his only option to earn big is to build and assemble cars locally under the government’s EV scheme.
The government may consider lowering import duties along with offering other concessions to Tesla, but for that the EV major will have to invest in setting up a manufacturing facility in the country. According to industry experts, the import duty on fully imported cars in India is a major concern for Musk.
Currently, India imposes a 100 percent tax, including insurance and shipping expenses, on imported cars valued above $40,000 (Rs 30 lakh), and a 60 percent import tax on cars less than $40,000. Musk has also criticized government policies for electric vehicles (EVs), because they attract the same import duties as petrol and diesel cars, said Soumen Mandal, research analyst for the automotive and devices ecosystem at Counterpoint Research.
He said, without the import duty exemption, Tesla will remain premium for the Indian market, but not ultra-premium. Musk recently said that he wants to launch the car in India, but the country’s import duty on EVs is by far the highest in the world. He posted on Twitter, “We want to do this, but here the import duty is the highest in the world compared to any major country.” This is not the first time that the Tesla CEO has raised concerns over import duties.
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