Twitter User Asks Elon Musk to Launch Tesla ‘ASAP’ in India, CEO Reveals ‘Roadblock’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk India

When will India get its own Tesla? That’s a question the electric vehicle enthusiasts have been asking for quite some time now. Tesla, the Elon Musk-owned electric vehicle company, announced its entry into the Indian markets and registered its company on January 8 this year. Since then, the EV aficionados and general car enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for the car to be visible on Indian roads. The question then arises is: when?

Twitter user and YouTuber Madan Gowri reached out to Tesla chief Musk himself on Twitter to “demand” the entry of electric cars in India.

“Dear @elonmusk please launch Tesla cars in India ASAP!” the user while sharing a snapshot of a shiny Tesla Model S Plaid.

“We want to do so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!” Musk wrote in response before adding, “Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India.”

“But we are hopeful.”

Responding to another user, Musk said the factory setup in India was “quite likely” should Tesla get a green signal with import duties.

Other luxury automakers in India have also lobbied the government in the past to lower taxes on imported cars but have had little success due to opposition from rivals with domestic operations.

Tesla, which aims to begin sales in India this year, said in a letter to ministries and the country’s leading think-tank Niti Aayog that slashing federal taxes on imports of fully assembled electric cars to 40% would be more appropriate, according to the sources.

That compares with current rates of 60% for cars priced below $40,000 and 100% for those above $40,000.

India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari told Reuters in March that India would be willing to offer incentives to ensure Tesla’s cost of production in the country was less than that in China, but only if it manufactured locally.

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