Tesla is Coming to India: From Talks with the Government to its Manufacturing Plans, Here’s Everything We Know So Far

Tesla is expected to foray into the subcontinent with its most affordable car yet.

Highlights
  • Tesla is expected to arrive on Indian shores soon.
  • Reports suggest Tesla’s upcoming 2-door electric car, possibly a sedan or SUV, will debut globally, with India as the second market and main non-European destination.
  • Tesla’s India strategy includes starting with CKD imports from Germany, aiming to boost local production in the future.
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Tesla is gearing up to introduce its ‘most affordable’ electric vehicle (EV) to the world. India is set to be the first non-European market to embrace this green innovation. But with so much news floating around Tesla and its foray into the Indian market, we wanted to collate everything that matters to you in one place. So without further ado, here’s a look at what we know about Tesla’s venture into the Indian subcontinent.

Germany’s Debut, India’s Spotlight

According to reports, Tesla’s yet-to-be-named 2-door electric car, likely a sedan or an SUV, is set to debut globally in Germany. However, India is positioned as this vehicle’s second market and the primary non-European destination. This EV is expected to become Tesla’s flagship offering in India, with substantial volumes anticipated from the subcontinent.

CKD Route and Affordability

Tesla’s strategy for India involves initially adopting the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) route. By importing kits from Germany, the company plans to indigenise India’s production process heavily. The proposed price tag for this upcoming EV is set at 25,000 euros (about Rs 20 lakh). Notably, this move aligns with Tesla’s mission to make electric vehicles more accessible to a broader audience.

Moreover, If the reports hold true, this ‘most affordable car’ will mark Tesla’s second foray into the Indian market, following the earlier speculation about the introduction of the Model Y. As per a previous Moneycontrol report, the Model Y is expected to be Tesla’s first offering in India.

Government Collaboration and Policy Shift

tesla and elon musk

Tesla seems to be closing in on an agreement with the Indian government, paving the way for its operations in the country. To incentivise electric vehicle manufacturing in India, the government is contemplating a new policy to reduce import taxes for companies engaged in local manufacturing. This tax reduction, however, comes with a condition – carmakers must commit to local manufacturing, source components locally, and provide bank guarantees. This strategic move aims to encourage global players like Tesla to test-market their products in India before establishing full-fledged manufacturing plants.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Elon Musk during his state visit to the United States suggests a willingness to foster collaboration between the government and one of the world’s most innovative companies.

Roadmap for the Future

To understand the Indian market better, Tesla might initially introduce fully imported (CBU) cars. This approach allows the company to gauge customer response and gather data on the performance of its EVs in Indian conditions. The long-term goal includes setting up a manufacturing plant in India within the next two years, with potential locations in Gujarat, Maharashtra, or Tamil Nadu.

FAQs

When Can We Officially See Tesla on Indian Roads?

The exact timeline for Tesla’s official launch on Indian roads is not yet confirmed. However, there are strong indications that Tesla is actively working towards launching in the Indian market sooner than later. The proposed introduction of an affordable electric vehicle and ongoing talks with the Indian government suggest that the wait may not be too long, and we can expect to see Tesla on Indian roads in 2024.

Where Would Tesla Cars be Available?

Tesla cars are likely to be available in major cities across India. The company may establish showrooms and service centers in metropolitan areas to cater to a broader customer base. The specific locations for Tesla’s presence in India will become clearer as the company finalizes its market strategy and expansion plans.

How Will Tesla Handle Service Issues?

Tesla is expected to establish service centers in key locations to address maintenance and service issues. The company typically provides service and support directly, and the service infrastructure is likely to be set up in major urban centres. Tesla owners can expect a combination of physical service centers and remote assistance for addressing any service-related issues with their vehicles.

Will Tesla Bring its EV Charger Network to India Too?

There is no official confirmation regarding Tesla’s plans to introduce its Supercharger network in India. However, considering Tesla’s emphasis on building a charging infrastructure globally, it is plausible that the company may bring its EV charging network to India. The availability of a robust charging infrastructure is crucial for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and Tesla’s potential entry into this space would be a significant development for the Indian electric vehicle ecosystem.