• Thursday, August 18, 2022

Business

‘Challenges with government’ have hit Tesla India launch, says Musk

Elon Musk (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

BILLIONAIRE US entrepreneur Elon Musk on Thursday (13) said electric car pioneer Tesla was “working through” a lot of challenges with India’s Narendra Modi government ahead of long-awaited plans to launch in the Asian country, AFP reported.

The American auto giant’s dream to sell vehicles in one of the world’s biggest markets have been hit by efforts to negotiate with the government to reduce import duties that can be as high as 100 per cent.

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Responding to a tweet asking him about a potential launch date in India, Musk said his company, headquartered in Texas, was “still working through a lot of challenges with the government”. He did not give further details.

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Last July, Musk tweeted that Tesla wanted to enter the Indian market “but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country”.

He said that his company was hoping for a tariff relief, even if temporary.

India imposes a 100 per cent tax on imported electric vehicles worth more than $40,000 and 60 per cent for those worth $40,000 or less.

The US company feels the high duties will make it difficult for them to compete in the cost-sensitive Indian market.

The Indian government has come up with incentives for foreign carmakers to produce their vehicles locally but Musk has said he wants to gauge demand with imports first, the AFP report added.

Electric vehicles accounted for only 1.3 percent of all vehicles sold in the country in 2020-21, a research by digital consultancy Techarc said.

The Indian government has plans to make 30 per cent of private cars to turn electric by 2030 as part of a push to decarbonise the transport sector.

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