Tesla is widely regarded as the most successful electric car maker globally, and India is one such country where importing an automobile attracts huge amount of import duties. Until recently these both didn't have any connection between them and neither Tesla could have entered India with such duties. But giving a shocker to everyone, Tesla has announced a possibility to enter India, and that too by offering their most affordable car ever!
And how are they planning to do that? First thing first, a Tesla Model S is priced in excess of $100,000, which comes out to be Rs 61 lakh. Add to that the huge duty, the car will easily cross Rs 1 crore mark. Now who in India will buy an electric car in excess of a crore. But if Jay Vijayan, Chief Information Officer at the Tesla is to be believed, Tesla is working on its third-generation car, a smaller and affordable four-door sedan code named Tesla Model 3, to target emerging markets like India. "India is a huge potential market, but we need to have more affordable and economical cars," Vijayan said.
Jay Vijayan, CIO, Tesla
"Our target price for Model 3 is in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 (approx Rs 18-24 lakh) that makes it an ideal product in the luxury car segment," said Vijayan. He is hopeful that the Indian Government, like the U.S Government will support the cause of electric car (U.S government gives a direct subsidy of $7500, bundled with each electric car). "India has one of the highest import duty in the world — in excess of 100% — that goes against our principal of importing car directly from our plants at Freemont in the US or the assembly unit in Netherlands," Vijayan added.
The electric car scene in India is not too bright at the moment. The only knight in the shining armor is the Bangalore based Maini Reva, a part of Mahindra and Mahindra group now, which is selling the fully indigenous and pure electric car for a decade now. But the lack of infrastructure, high prices and limited driveability, has made the electric car project, a least profitable one. "Tesla is not just a conventional electric car, but a full-scale motoring experience, that zooms 0-100 km per hour in mere 3.4 seconds and delivers the highest 500-km range on a single electric charge," Vijayan said.
Still the hopes are high that the electric car project in India will rise exponentially someday. The Indian government is taking every possible step to ensure this and to start with, they have announced a National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, where it plans to sell 6-7 million of electric vehicles in the country by 2020. The project will also provide incentives upto Rs 14,000 crore for the promotion of electric vehicles.