After making electric cars desirable in the developed world, Tesla has its sights set on one of the fastest growing car markets in the developing world, India. The American electric car major plans to lobby the Indian government to reduce import duty on electric cars so that affordably priced Tesla cars could have an Indian future.
The Model 3, which is currently under development, is likely to be the first electric car from Tesla for the Indian car market, if everything goes as intended. According to Jayaprakash Vijayan, Tesla’s Chennai born Chief Information Officer, the Model 3 makes eminent sense for India due to its anticipated price tag of 30,000-40,000 USD.
The car, even after the steep 100 % import duty that the Indian government levies on completely built automobiles, will be priced at about 36 lakh rupees in India, right in BMW 3-Series sedan territory. That price, coupled to some racy performance, could make the Model 3 attractive to forward thinking buyers in India, who use their cars mainly for city commutes.
The Model 3, will be a scaled down version of the Model S. With sharp styling being a given, the Model 3 is touted to get a range of about 320 Kilometers per charge. With the likes of the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes Benz C-Class on its radar, expect the Model 3 to get urgent performance and a swish set of features. A 2017 launch time frame is on the cards.
For its Indian entry, Tesla is also banking on the government’s ambitious National Electric Mobility Mission Plan of 2020, which envisages a hefty outlay of 14,000 crore rupees, to encourage the manufacture and development of electric and hybrid vehicles with a view of reducing pollution levels and the country’s dependence of crude oil.
While the NEMMP seems to be stuck in limbo, Tesla, and other electric vehicle makers in India, such as Mahindra Reva and Hero Electric continue to bet big on the electric vehicle space that is showing a steady uptick in interest in many developed countries.