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Tesla CEO Elon Musk addresses Tesla’s launch in India; says facing a ‘lot of challenges’

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk on Thursday informed that the US-based EV-maker is facing a ‘lot of challenges’ for its car launch in India, and the company is working with the govt to overcome obstacles.

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“Still working through a lot of challenges with the government,” Musk tweeted.

Musk was replying to a Twitter user, Pranay Pathole, who asked, “Yo @elonmusk any further update as to when Tesla’s will launch in India? They’re pretty awesome and deserve to be in every corner of the world!”

In July 2021, Tesla has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office to slash import taxes on electric vehicles before it enters the market, four sources told Reuters, ratcheting up demands that faced objections from some Indian automakers.

Tesla wants to begin selling imported cars in India this year but says taxes in the country are among the highest in the world. Its request for tax cuts prompted objections from several local players, who say such a move would deter investment in domestic manufacturing.

The government will soon take a decision on electric vehicle pioneer Tesla’s proposal for a duty cut in India as a precursor to launch locally and set up manufacturing plants in the country.

The proposal is currently being evaluated and a decision is likely soon, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant told media. NITI Aayog is a premier think tank of the government which provides policy inputs to the administration.

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Musk had also raised his reservations about launching EVs in India due to the high import duties. Musk hopes for a ‘temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles’ as Tesla continues to lobby hard to reduce the taxes before it officially launches any cars in India.

Musk had said that Tesla wants to launch its cars soon in India, but Indian ‘import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!’ He had also said that a Tesla ‘factory in India is quite likely’ but at the condition that its imported cars first succeed in the country.

Elon Musk has been discussing an entry into India for the last few years, but it is contingent upon the concessions. Tesla has sought a lower import duty of 40% from current 60% on fully assembled electric cars priced below $40,000, and 60% from current 100% on vehicles above $40,000.

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