Earlier this year, Tesla confirmed that it will be entering the Indian market soon. The American EV manufacturer has already registered an office in Bengaluru, and is planning to establish an R&D centre in Karnataka. Since the announcement, speculations about Tesla entering a tie-up with a local manufacturer had been floating around, with some rumours suggesting the company is in talks with Tata Motors.
However, this rumour has now been disbanded by Tata Group, putting all the speculations about the potential partnership between the two carmakers to rest. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, was quoted saying, “There is no dialogue with Tesla. With us, there is nothing. We will do it on our own.
Chandrasekaran also stated that Tata’s British subsidiaries, Jaguar and Land Rover, have been performing well, and thus, there is no need for an outside partner currently. It should be noted that JLR has announced an aggressive EV plan for the future, with Jaguar planning to turn all-electric by 2025! Land Rover will electrify all its nameplates by 2030 (with hybrid, PHEVs, and EV variants), and become an all-electric brand by around 2036.
As for Tata Motors, the brand currently has two EVs in its lineup – Tigor EV and Nexon EV. The latter was recently involved in a controversy, in which a user complained that his Nexon EV was delivering only around 200 km, which is significantly lower than the claimed range (312 km, ARAI claimed). Following the complaint, the Delhi Transport department has removed the vehicle from its list of EVs approved for subsidy, with the final decision on the matter yet pending.
Tata is also planning to launch the Altroz EV in the Indian market soon, which was showcased in near-production form at the 2020 Auto Expo. We also expect the manufacturer to offer an electric version of the upcoming HBX mini-SUV
As for Tesla, it is expected to begin its sales operations in India with the Model 3, which is expected to be priced at Rs. 60 lakh (ex-showroom). Following that, we might see other Tesla vehicles – Model S, Model X, and Model Y – arrive in our market as well. Initially, the vehicles will arrive via the CBU import route, but we expect localisation to happen in the near future.