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After Tesla calls for EV sops, Tata Motors seeks equal treatment from govt

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Days after US-based EV maker Tesla demanded a reduction on import duties to be able to bring its electric cars to India, Country’s local carmaker, Tata Motors, urged the Centre to treat all electric vehicle manufacturers, during a virtual press conference on Monday. Tata Motors said it expects the government to be consistent in its approach towards indigenous manufacturing of EVs under the FAME II scheme.

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P Balaji, CFO at Tata Motors, said, “From Tata Motors’ perspective, the Indian government through the FAME II incentives, eligibility criteria have been very clearly set for the direction in which the country should take to accelerate the adoption of EVs. This has always emphasised affordable EVs and also localisation as per the phased manufacturing plans.”

“I am sure the government will remain consistent to that particular philosophy and the principles of FAME II. This is what all of us are working towards,” he added. According to Tata Motors, the carmakers invested in the EV segment look forward to long-term visibility of the policy

Tata Motors is already have two electric cars in Indian market – the Tigor EV and the Nexon EV. The top automobile maker also plans to launch at least 10 new electric vehicles in the next four years.

Tata Motors’ reaction comes after the demand by Tesla to cut import duties on its cars. Tesla wants import duties on electric vehicles in India reduced to be able make its business more viable. Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Saturday said in a tweet that his company wants to launch cars in India, however, the country’s import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) are “highest in the world by far”. His reply came after YouTuber Madan Gowri requested Musk to launch Tesla cars in India, in a tweet. While Musk said that Tesla is ‘quite likely’ to build a manufacturing unit in India, he also hopes for ‘at least a temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles’.

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India currently demands customs duty ranging between 60 per cent to 100 per cent on imported cars. India imposes 100% import duty on fully imported cars with CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value over $40,000, while 60% duty is imposed on cars that cost less than the amount.

Musk also said, “Clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India. We are hopeful that there will be at least a temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles. That would be much appreciated.”

Tesla announced its entry in India earlier this year by registering as Tesla India Motors in Karnataka. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also said Tesla is set to start its operations in India by this year and may set up a manufacturing unit as well. Tesla is likely to make its India debut with the Model 3 electric car. It is expected that a Tesla Model 3 would cost roughly around ₹70 lakh.

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