While the electric car market in India has remained an uncharted territory, last year, Tesla had opened the online bookings for the latest Model 3 in India. Now, the founder of the company, Elon Musk replied to a query on twitter saying “Maybe I’m misinformed, but I was told that 30 per cent of parts must be locally sourced and the supply does not yet exist in India to support that.”
This reply indicated that the Tesla has delayed its India launch that was supposed to happen in 2017 summers. This launch time was also given by Elon Musk on Twitter last month. That said, it’s possible that Elon Musk is actually misinformed about the 30% sourcing clause because the Industry executives and government officials were surprised by the Musk’s statement. On further enquiry, it was revealed by Sugato Sen, deputy director general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers that the “mandatory local sourcing requirements do not exist for auto firms.”
He added: “manufacturers can import cars valued at less than $40,000 by paying an import duty of 60 per cent. For cars valued over $40,000, the duty stands at 100 per cent. “Semiknocked down units and completely-knocked-down units attract an import duty of 30 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.”
The Indian government is fully supporting Tesla to build an ecosystem for electric cars in India. And Nitin Gadkari, Road transport and Highways minister even offered land near ports to Tesla so that the company can “Make-in-India” and make it an export hub. That said, the company is still evaluating this proposal.
All said, even if the Musk was misinformed about the 30% local sourcing clause, the India launch will still be delayed. Because, if it was on track then Musk wouldn’t be confused about this now when 2017 summers are actually here. The company also have a big task at hand to develop a proper ecosystem for electric cars in India, this includes laying a network of charging stations across India.