Tesla faces “challenges” to launch in India

Tesla’s hopes of selling its vehicles in one of the world’s biggest markets have been stymied by attempts to negotiate lower import duties, which can be as high as 100%.

Tesla’s multi-billionaire boss, Elon Musk, said on Thursday that his company was “looking to overcome” the many challenges faced with the Indian government to launch its electric vehicles in this vast South Asian market.

Responding to a tweet in which he was asked about a possible launch date in India, Elon Musk said his California-based company was “looking to overcome many challenges with the government”, without giving further details.

Tesla’s hopes of selling its vehicles in one of the world’s biggest markets have been stymied by attempts to negotiate lower import duties, which can be as high as 100%.

Elon Musk tweeted last July that Tesla wanted to enter the Indian market “but import duties are the highest in the world, by far, of any major country.”

1% of vehicles are electric in India, the goal is to increase to 30% by 2030

He added that the company was hoping for temporary tariff relief. India imposes a 100% tax on imported electric vehicles worth more than $40,000, and 60% for those costing less than $40,000 or less.

Tesla fears the high duties could exclude it from the cost-sensitive Indian market.

New Delhi has introduced incentives for foreign automakers to manufacture their vehicles locally, but Elon Musk said he wanted to gauge demand first with imports.

Electric cars accounted for just 1.3% of all vehicles sold in the country in 2020-21, according to research by digital consultancy Techarc.

The Indian government’s target is for 30% of passenger cars to be electric by 2030, as part of a larger effort to decarbonise the transport sector.

Leave a Comment