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High Import Duties Keeping Tesla off Indian Roads, Says Elon Musk

Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Breaking silence over his India plans, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has blamed high import duties on electric cars for blocking the entry of Tesla vehicles in the country.

India has taken a slew of measures to promote the use of electric cars in the country. It recently slashed Goods and services tax (GST) on electric vehicles to five per cent from earlier 12 per cent but to protect domestic automakers, it levies 125 per cent duty on imported vehicles.

“I’m told import duties are extremely high (up to 100 per cent), even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable,” Musk said late Thursday while responding to a tweet from an Indian follower.

Close on the heels of Union Budget providing tax relief for buying electric vehicles, the GST Council in its meeting last month cut the tax on electric vehicles (EV) from 12 per cent to 5 per cent, effective August 1, 2019.

The council has also slashed rate for EV chargers from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, making electric vehicle affordable for the buyers.

The twin rate cuts are set to further boost the EV sector. The Budget on July 5 had proposed Income Tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase electric vehicles.

This is a major push to the electric vehicles which has so far seen lukewarm response due to high ownership cost and insufficient infrastructure in the country. Not surprisingly, the share of electric vehicles out of total annual vehicle sales in the country is less than 1 per cent.

Electric car problems
Jeff Solie plugs in his electric car Tesla sedan at his home, in New Berlin, Wis., July 13, 2017. Electric cars are seeing growing support around the world. But there’s a problem: There aren’t enough places to plug those cars in. VOA

However, the Modi government is committed to transform the transport sector by promoting the use of green cars and bikes.

Musk, who has been trying to come to India for the past couple of years, told a visiting group of IIT Madras students last month that Tesla may run on Indian roads in 2020.

Musk tweeted in March this year that he would love to be in India in 2019 or next year.

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“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next! India,” Musk tweeted. He blamed government policies, including FDI norms, for giving up on his India dreams.

Earlier this year, Tesla’s Indian-origin Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja announced his retirement from the firm, bringing Musk’s India dream to a halt again.

Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000. (IANS)

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Telling People That They Cannot Leave Their Homes is “Facist”: Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Musk said that while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not

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Elon Musk
He said that "forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional alliance" is "horrible and wrong". Wikimedia Commons

Slamming restrictions imposed on people’s movements in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that telling people that they cannot leave their home is “fascist”.

Musk has been a fierce critic of COVID-19 restrictions from the very beginning of the outbreak. At one point he even called the coronavirus panic “dumb”. The latest rant against the restrictions came during Tesla’s Q1 2020 earning call on Wednesday.

While answering questions from analysts, Musk said “this is the time to think about the future and also to ask, is it right to infringe upon people’s rights, as what is happening right now.” “I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry, because somebody should really — if somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great. They should be allowed to stay in the house, and they should not be compelled to leave,” the Tesla CEO said.

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“But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. People back they’ve gotten their freedom,” he added. Tesla posted surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 despite temporary disruptions in productions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Lockdown
Slamming restrictions imposed on people’s movements in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that telling people that they cannot leave their home is “fascist”. Pixabay

Answering questions on the company’s liquidity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Musk said that he was worried about not being able to resume production in its factory in Fremont, California. “I should say we are a bit worried about not being able to resume production in the Bay Area, and that should be identified as a serious risk. We only have two car factories right now, one in Shanghai and one in the Bay Area, and the Bay Area produces the vast majority of our cars, all of S and X, and most of the 3 and all of the Y,” he said

He said that “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional alliance” is “horrible and wrong”. Musk said that while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not.

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While the Bay Area’s orders require non-essential businesses to stay shut and also ban many other activities, such as large public gatherings, they do not say that people cannot leave their house, CNBC reported. (IANS)

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Tesla Posts a Profit of $16 Millions in First Quarter of 2020

Tesla weathers COVID-19 disruptions in Q1

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tesla
Tesla posted surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 . Pixabay

Electric vehicle company Tesla posted surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 despite temporary disruptions in productions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“This is the first time we have achieved positive GAAP net income in a seasonally weak first quarter,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an earnings call on Wednesday.

Tesla’s revenue in Q1 2020 reached $5.9 billion, an increase of nearly $1.5 billion a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $8.1 billion of cash.

Tesla said the volume growth in the Gigafactory Shanghai led to a material improvement in margins of locally made Model 3 vehicles.

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, near a Tesla factory. Wikimedia Commons

The Model Y also contributed to profits, Tesla said, adding that it represented the first time in its history that a new product has been profitable in its first quarter.

“Even with all the challenges, we achieved a 20 per cent automotive gross margin, excluding regulatory credits while ramping two major products,” Musk said.

Musk said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the company to look closely at its cost structure and to be more efficient as a company.

“And we came to a conclusion that the right move was actually to continue to expand rapidly, continue to invest in the future and in new technologies, even though it is risky,” Musk said.

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“And we’ve talked to some of our key investors, and they support that approach as well. So I think that there’s clearly an uncertain future ahead. It’s a bit of a bumpy road. But I think the long-term prospects are extremely good,” he added.

Tesla shares rose more than 9 per cent after the company posted Q 1 profit. (IANS)

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Tesla Works on Designing Ventilators For “Tesla Model 3” Parts

However, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the ventilators that Musk promised to make won't be ready in time for the coronavirus pandemic

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Tesla
"We want to use parts that we know really well, we know the reliability of… and they're available in volume," one of Tesla's engineers explains. Wikimedia Commons

Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has posted a video on its YouTube channel, showing its engineers are working on designing ventilators from Tesla Model 3 parts.

In the video, Tesla’s engineers show off two versions of the ventilator, a prototype model with its components laid out across a desk, as well as a packaged model that shows how it might look when used by a hospital.

“We want to use parts that we know really well, we know the reliability of… and they’re available in volume,” one of Tesla’s engineers explains. The ventilator uses multiple components from its cars, including the Model 3’s infotainment screen, computer, as well as a part used in the Model S’s suspension system.

Apart from Tesla, Ford is working with GE to expand ventilator production while also using its own resources to build vents, respirators and face shields. GM intends to build ventilators at an Indiana-based car factory.

Tesla
Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has posted a video on its YouTube channel, showing its engineers are working on designing ventilators from Tesla Model 3 parts. Wikimedia Commons

As well as developing its own ventilator design, Musk is also purchasing FDA-approved “ventilators” and shipping them to hospitals that need them. New York City Hospitals recently shared an image on Twitter thanking Musk and Tesla for delivering 40 ventilators to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.

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However, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the ventilators that Musk promised to make won’t be ready in time for the coronavirus pandemic. (IANS)