Tesla India prospects get a boost as states compete with each other to invite Elon Musk to their backyard

Tesla India prospects get a boost as states compete with each other to invite Elon Musk to their backyard
Tesla has received approval for seven models of its cars in India so farUnsplash
  • After stating that Tesla is facing “a lot of challenges” in entering India, several state ministers came forward to invite the electric car maker to their state.
  • The list includes Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab and West Bengal.
  • Elon Musk has been tweeting regularly about his troubles in India.
Tesla’s India prospects have received a boost in the new year as several Indian state ministers have extended invitations to Elon Musk to set up Tesla manufacturing plants in their respective states.

Last week, Musk tweeted that Tesla is facing a “lot of challenges” in entering the Indian market, in response to a query from a fan.

Pranay Pathole, in a tweet said, “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!” Responding to this, Musk said that “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government.”

Now, ministers of several Indian states have come out and extended invitations to the electric car maker to set up its shop in their respective backyards.

This includes ministers from Telangana, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Punjab – curiously, all of those have non-BJP governments.


Telangana’s Industry and Commerce Minister and son of the Chief Minister, KT Rama Rao, was the first to extend an invite.

West Bengal minister joined in and put forward West Bengal’s bid, inviting Musk to set up shop in the state.

Jayant R Patil, Maharashtra’s water resources minister, followed, saying, “Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you with all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India. We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra,”.

Former cricketer and Punjab Congress chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu, jumped in, proclaiming that the “Punjab Model” and single-window clearance for investments would help Ludhiana become a hub for electric vehicles and batteries.

Tesla had received approval in India for four models in August 2021 and another three models in December 2021. While the models have not been revealed yet, the Model 3 and Model Y have reportedly been spotted in the country.

Tesla’s India ambitions face hurdles

One of the issues being faced by the Elon Musk-led company is the imposition of import taxes. Tesla had urged the Indian government to slash import taxes on electric vehicles and even requested a meeting between Musk and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian government levies a 60% import tax on electric vehicles priced $40,000 or less, and 100% on those priced above $40,000. In comparison, Tesla cars start at $44,690 (approx. ₹33,41,780) in the US, meaning Tesla’s cars will face a 100% import tax in India, hampering the company’s sales.

While Tesla has been requesting a reduction in import duties for some time now, Indian companies like Tata Motors have opposed such a move as it would incentivize imports and go against the country’s plans of boosting local electric vehicle manufacturing.


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