The Future of Tesla in India


Tesla- the multibillion-dollar American company owned by the legend himself- Elon Musk, is renowned for ferrying in the future to the world. It was founded on the 1st of July, 2003 in California, USA. Primarily an automobile company, it ONLY makes electric cars, with an aim to reduce mankind’s derogatory impact on the environment. Starting with Model 3, up to the Roadster (0-96 kph in 1.9 seconds with a top speed of 400 kph), there’s no predicting how many other revolutionary automobiles Tesla is going to create. All of Tesla’s cars, even the base models, go from 0-96 kph within 6 seconds.

India is already a growing market for automobiles, standing at the fifth global position for demand for automobiles. Hence, Tesla has its sights set on building a market in India as soon as possible, given that there’s recent competition building up in the EV (Electrical Vehicle) market. Some prominent names of Electronic cars made in India that come to mind are TATA Nexon EV, TATA Tigor EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, and others.

Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla Motors

But, the situation isn’t that simple. Tesla prefers to import its cars to India, as a CBU (Completely Built Unit). Unfortunately, there’s 60% – 100% import duty as well as 40% – 50% GST on CBU depending on the size and the engine capacity. Hence, the market is specially tough for Tesla to find buyers. For instance, it is estimated that Tesla’s least expensive model would cost around ₹45 – ₹50 lakhs. Moreover, Tesla cars are only available in Sedan body type. But, in India, people are known to prefer SUV body type to Sedan. Even in the same electronic automobile game, there are competent players like TATA Nexon which rules the Indian market. It costs in the price range of ₹7.29 lakhs to ₹13.34 lakhs. Other economically preferable cars like TATA Tigor costs in the range of ₹5.67 lakhs to ₹7.84 lakhs. Yet another EV Hyundai Kona Electric costs in the range of ₹ 23.79 lakhs to ₹23.98 lakhs. Cars like these have already started establishing a base in the Indian market.

Moreover, India requires an automobile company to have a large, affordable, and efficient service- network. It is majorly due to the challenging driving culture of our country which necessitates regular servicing of automobiles. Tesla, like any new entrant in the market, will take time to build a service network large enough to span the country and fulfill the customers’ needs. Also, there is no provision for charging stations in major parts of our country. With the diverse Indian terrain, Tesla will have yet another monumental challenge of making charging stations available even in extreme parts like mountainous regions.

Nevertheless, Tesla’s cars stand out due to their sophistication, environmental friendliness, safety features, etc. It scored a five-star safety rating in the Latin NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), believed to be the hardest NCAP in the world. With the growing buzz about this revolutionary company,  the future generations of India becoming aware of environmental conservation and the steadily rising national economy- perhaps Tesla might start producing cars in India sooner than anticipated. Until then, it all depends on the Martian and his next trick.

Credit To – Prashansa Parwal

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