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Chairman, CEO and Founder of Tesla, Elon Musk has been very vocal on Twitter, about Tesla's entry into the Indian market. His interest in the Indian market is very evident as he enthusiastically tweets, retweets and replies to tweets about the Indian market.
Today, When a Twitter user named Jasveer Singh tweeted a question to Elon Musk and tagged him in it, Elon Musk replied to the tweet quickly. The question was about Tesla's entry into India, and Jasveer had asked if it had been postponed. Musk replied saying, Tesla is in discussions with the Indian government to see if import restrictions can be relaxed until a Tesla factory is built.
In discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 14, 2017
Both Tesla and the Indian government have been eager to bring the US-based electric car manufacturer to the Indian market. The urge to bring Tesla down to India became stronger when the Indian Government announced that all cars sold in India would have to be Electric, as the sale of petrol and diesel cars would apparently be banned by then.
The Government of India does seem to be setting ambitious plans one after the other, as they even want to ensure that at least 60 lakh Electric cars are sold in India by 2020. While this is good news for the environment and is the right way ahead, it would be difficult to achieve as Mahindra is the only mainstream manufacturer in India with electric cars in its product portfolio.
Mahindra currently sells three all-electric cars - e2o Plus, eVerito and eSupro 3, and that is about it. For the Indian Government's plans to realise, our market needs more electric cars and more manufacturers. It is for this very reason that the Indian government is interested in bringing Tesla to our shores.
The only big problem left here now is, the Indian laws and restrictions on the import of automobiles. Under the current tax bracket, the government imposes an import duty between 100 percent and 120 percent for Completely Built Units (CBUs).
If Tesla plans to launch its cars right now, the cars would be more than twice as expensive as they currently are in the US market, which would ultimately result in lower sales numbers. Hence Tesla is in talks with the Indian government to relax the import duty for its cars until a local factory is built.
This is great news for Tesla enthusiasts and prospective customers in India, as it reaffirms Tesla's arrival in India. What makes it even better is, Musk's tweet also confirmed the setting up of a Tesla factory in India. A Tesla Gigafactory in India just sounds like the coolest thing.
Tesla's arrival in India is inevitable, and the setting up of a local factory means Tesla will be able to price its cars aggressively. Things seem to be taking shape very well for the electric car market in India.
Mahindra already has three electric cars, which take up the entry level electric car segment, and then there's Tesla with its premium electric cars. We will also see other manufacturers slowly starting development of electric cars.