Don't sell China-made EVs in India, Nitin Gadkari tells Elon Musk's Tesla
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday that electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla had been asked to not sell China-manufactured cars in India and instead produce the same in our country. He also urged the Elon Musk-headed company to export its cars manufactured in India.
"I have told Tesla that don't sell electric cars in India which your company has manufactured in China. You should manufacture electric cars in India, and also export cars from India," he said, adding Tesla had been assured of all necessary support from the Indian government.
Tesla has been asking for a reduction in import duties in India. Musk, its CEO, had earlier taken to Twitter to state that Tesla’s plans to bring EVs to India were hampered by high import duties charged in the country.
"We want to do so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!" Musk had written.
The Indian government levies a 100 per cent import duty on cars as completely built units (CBUs) attract customs duty ranging from 60-100 per cent, depending on engine size and cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value less or above $40,000. The duties are aimed at protecting domestic manufacturers, and so far, the government’s stance has remained unchanged despite Musk’s open appeal. "I'm told import duties are extremely high (up to 100 per cent), even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable," he had earlier tweeted in 2019.
The pioneer carmaker had also written to the Union road ministry that the effective import tariff of 110 percent on vehicles with customs value above $40,000 was "prohibitive" to zero-emission vehicles. Musk had also said India treated clean energy vehicles the same way as it did with diesel or petrol cars, “which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India.”
The company had asked the government to standardise tariffs on EVs and withdraw the social welfare surcharge levied on them, insisting that it would benefit the EV ecosystem in the country without damaging domestic interest.
Gadkari said he was holding dialogues with Tesla officials regarding the company's demand related to tax concessions. Last month, the Union minister had asked Tesla to start manufacturing in India before any tax concessions can be considered.