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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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EV Maker Tesla Unveils Its First Model 3 Made-In-China

Tesla unveils made-in-China Model 3 with media test drives

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Tesla
Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has unveiled its first Model 3 made-in-China at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. Wikimedia Commons

Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has unveiled its first Model 3 made-in-China at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai and started to give media test drives of the vehicle.

Tesla has been expected to focus on Model 3 production at its Shanghai automotive factory, where it mulls producing as many as 3,000 vehicles per week next year, Teslarati reported recently.

The Shanghai Gigafactory is Tesla’s first assembly plant outside of the US and the first wholly-owned foreign auto factory in China.

Tesla
Tesla has been expected to focus on Model 3 production at its Shanghai automotive factory. Pixabay

Last month, the automaker confirmed that it has produced full vehicles at Gigafactory Shanghai as part of its trial production.

“We are already producing full vehicles on a trial basis, from body, to paint and to general assembly, at Gigafactory Shanghai. We have cleared initial milestones toward our manufacturing license and are working toward finalizing the license and meeting other governmental requirements before we begin ramping production and delivery of vehicles from Shanghai,” the company said.

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Additionally, the company’s CEO Elon Musk has recently announced that he will unveil Tesla electric pickup truck dubbed as ‘Cybertruck’ on November 21 at an event in Los Angeles. (IANS)