So, world’s most valuable car manufacturer has entered world’s most cutthroat market. Tesla, decades ahead of competition in terms of charging infrastructure, battery tech, autonomous driving and many more. Its doing awesome in China, US and Europe but what all this mean for India? Well, as mentioned above, Indian market is very competitive. Indians want value for every penny they spend and if they get better value for money in a cheaper Honda or Hyundai, the Tesla badge and the whole EV concept will just blow off from their heads.
There are still rumors and speculation on which model will thrown into the ring, the entry level, Model 3 was chosen to be imported and see how it plays out but importing cars and electronics companies avoid because the taxes could be higher the product itself. The price of Model 3 is $37,990(~Rs.2,783,964) and if that’s imported then the price can easily jack up to well over 5.5mn INR(~$75,000), so Tesla can’t survive with this, at this price, competitors like Mercedes, BMW and Audi will very easily steal the customers.
Now, I still don’t if this is true or not and also how to do it but the booking for a Tesla Model I(I for India) is open for Rs.69,999(~$955) and the car is priced at Rs.1.99mn(~$27,158) and 976km range. Tesla was making a model to sit below Model 3 and this is it, Model I will also be exported to other countries, the manufacturing plant is rumored to be built in Karnataka. Government is also helping a lot, trying to undercut the manufacturing cost from China. In an interview, Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari said,” Rather than assembling(cars) in India, they should make the entire product in the country by hiring local vendors. Then we can give higher concessions”.
Charging infrastructure is still a major problem. Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles(SMEV) welcomed the central government’s plans to install a EV charging kiosks at all 69,000 gas stations across the country. This is to speed up EV adoption in the country, we need to wait to see Tesla’s views because of its Superchargers and different charging port on the car. EV concept is fairly new to India and out of 2.4 million cars that sold in 2020, only 5000 of them were electric.
Tesla is known for its innovation like, well, pioneering in EVs other than that, recently it has been flaunting its self-driving capabilities but it hasn’t met Indian roads, let me explain it in a way people outside India understands. Your reaction time has to be faster than a Formula 1 driver, if you master Indian roads, you can fly a SpaceX rocket but seriously, Tesla’s Autopilot cannot be optimized for India, there are cows, pedestrians walking in the middle of the road, it would have a panic attack and nervous breakdown at the same time. Plus, it costs $10,000(~Rs.7mn) so most customers may stick to their driving skills.
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