Tesla – “Many challenges” delaying Elon Musk’s ambitions in India


The Tesla boss said on Thursday that he was “seeking to overcome” the difficulties encountered with New Delhi to launch his electric vehicles in the vast Indian market.

The firm led by Elon Musk is trying to negotiate lower import taxes in India, which can reach up to 100% of the price of the electric vehicle.


Tesla “is looking to overcome many challenges with the government” of India, its boss Elon Musk said Thursday, responding to a tweet in which he was asked about a possible launch date in the vast Asian country. The American billionaire did not give further details. His company’s hopes of selling its vehicles in one of the biggest markets in the world have been stymied by attempts to negotiate lower import duties, which can be as high as 100%.

Tax up to 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.” 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 $40,000 or less. Tesla fears the high duties could exclude it from the cost-sensitive Indian market.

Far from ambitious goals

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 goal is for 30% of passenger cars to be electric by 2030, as part of a larger effort to decarbonise the transport sector.



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