The Union Minister for road transport and highways (MORTH), Nitin Gadkari, remains hopeful of Tesla setting up a manufacturing unit in India. Recently, American electric car maker Tesla chose China over India to set up an electric car manufacturing plant after holding months of private talks. Tesla is said to have chosen China as it was not comfortable with India’s local sourcing rules for foreign investment and high import duties.
If they are coming, if they are ready to come, we will welcome. We are ready to offer them land and all type of help. Presently Tesla doesn’t have any proposal to come to India. I requested them, I met them in America, but their first point was China at that time.
Tesla is currently struggling to produce the Model 3, its most affordable electric that’s also likely to be launched in India. Tesla has already accepted many pre-bookings for the car from Indian buyers but remains non-committal about the exact timeline of the Model 3’s India launch.
A solitary Tesla Model X SUV has landed in India. It was imported privately by the ESSAR group, a billion dollar conglomerate, for use by its CEO Mr. Prashant Ruia. However, importing cars privately is very expensive, a route that most Indian buyers cannot afford to take.
Then there’s the problem of after sales service, which makes private imports unviable for everyone except those who have a dedicated garage and technicians to take care of such sophisticated cars. Spare will also have to be imported, again at prohibitive costs.
Until Tesla starts officially selling its cars in India, most Indian buyers will prefer to wait to out or purchase high-performance electric cars from other manufacturers. Mahindra is one homegrown car maker which has a dedicated electric car unit – Mahindra Electric.
The electric car maker plans to launch the high performance Aero Electric – a coupe crossover based on the XUV500. The Aero Electric is said to be capable of doing the 0-100 Kph run in just 8 seconds, which is quite fast by Indian standards. The car is also said to offer an battery range of 250 Kms, which will be adequate for city use.