A day after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government” which was a reply to a question about Tesla’s India plans, Telangana industry and commerce minister KT Rama Rao offered to partner with Tesla to set shop in India or Telangana.
“Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives & a top notch business destination in India” said the minister.
Tesla has been keen on India and has already registered Tesla India Inc in Karnataka in January last year. Elon musk has regularly been tweeting about the high taxes and import duties in India being a deterrence for Tesla’s presence in the country.
The cheapest Tesla model – the Base variant of the Model 3 is listed on the tesla website for an MSRP of $40,000. With the current custom duties of 60%, the base variant of Model 3 when imported in CBU form will cost around Rs. 70Lakh.
Tesla had earlier requested the government to standardize the tariff on electric cars to 40 percent irrespective of the customs value, and withdraw the social welfare surcharge of 10 percent on electric cars. To which the Govt said it was not in favor of giving such concessions to any auto firm and giving duty benefits to Tesla will not send a good signal to other companies that have invested billions of dollars 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," Union minister Nitin Gadkar said in October last year. Tesla has demanded a reduction in import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) in India. "Whatever support you (Tesla) want, will be provided by our government," Gadkari added.