Want to buy a Tesla? Here’s why your electric-car dream may not be realised soon | autos | Hindustan Times
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Want to buy a Tesla? Here’s why your electric-car dream may not be realised soon

Elon Musk has been exploring the idea of selling his mass-market electric car Tesla Model 3, which goes to production at the US Gigafactory by July 2017.

autos Updated: May 22, 2017 17:08 IST
Gulshankumar Wankar
Elon Musk, the co-founder and chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla, speaking during a ceremony in Dubai.
Elon Musk, the co-founder and chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla, speaking during a ceremony in Dubai. (AFP file photo)

Your dream of owning a Tesla electric car this summer, as Elon Musk had tweeted in February, may not come true.

On Monday, one Avinash Singh tweeted to Musk: “Are there any chances for Tesla to release in India in 2017 or 2018? Waiting for that.”

Musk replied in a tweet, saying, “Maybe I’m misinformed, but I was told that 30% of parts must be locally sourced and the supply doesn’t yet exist in India to support that.”

Musk has been exploring the idea of selling in India his mass-market electric car Tesla Model 3, which goes to production at the US Gigafactory by July 2017. The car, slated to be rolled out with a sticker price of $35,000, was expected to come to India via completely-built-unit (CBU) route, which attracts up to 100% import duty.

But Musk’s tweet suggests the government agencies he dealt with could have asked Tesla to localise 30% of the production, instead of importing the cars as CBUs or locally assemble completely-knocked-down (CKD) imported units.

Tech giant Apple too had faced this localisation roadblock when chief exec Tim Cook sought to sell refurbished iPhones in India imported from the US. Instead, the Indian government insisted Apple set up shop here to enhance the local manufacturing and sales of the premium smartphone.

But there’s no such rule for localisation on automakers to set up shop in India, auto industry body Siam told HT.

“There’s a 100% duty rate for CBU, 10% duty on CKD and there’s 30% duty on cars, if parts are aggregated from various locations,” Vishnu Mathur, director general of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said. “But apart from these, there’s no rule on localisation of production. If there is, it would be anti-WTO as localisation cannot be mandated.”

“However, there are chances that the government might have declined to offer the electric vehicle incentives if Tesla imports its electric cars in to India,” he added.

The concerned ministry officials could not be reached.

Musk had in February tweeted that Tesla is coming to India “hopefully this summer”.

Minister of road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari had last year visited the Tesla factory in the US, and had invited Musk to “make in India”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had met Musk, along with other Indian leaders of the Silicon Valley -- Microsoft’s Satya Nadela and Google’s Sundar Pichai -- as part of campaigning for his pet projects -- Make in India and Digital India.