During the launch of the Tesla Model 3, the most affordable offering from the electric carmaker, it was speculated that the company would enter India too. And now there is a confirmation from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In a Twitter conversation, Elon stated that the company might enter India in summer 2017.
We believe Tesla will enter India with the Model 3 as it will help the carmaker encash on the growing hybrid/electric car space. Tesla Motors might also set up a manufacturing base that can cater to South Asian countries. Last year, Nitin Gadkari had visited the company's plant in California wherein he had offered the brand a land near the ports to facilitate exports. The company had also shown interest in setting up a battery manufacturing plant in India during our Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the plant.
The main challenge that Tesla Motors will face is building infrastructure for its all-electric cars. The company might get the supercharging facility in India too along with the Model 3 to make it extremely convenient. The only other electric cars sold in India arethe Mahindra e2o and the e-Verito. However, with their exorbitant pricing and lack of charging options, Mahindra has not seen much enthusiasm with the car buying populace.
The other hurdle that lies in front of Tesla Motors are the hefty duties that are applied on imported vehicles. Additionally, if Tesla brings in through the CBU route, it will also miss on the incentives of the FAME scheme. The details about Tesla's launch plan in India are still sketchy. We will update this story as soon as we get official confirmation from Tesla Motors.