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Tesla In India: Aaditya Thackeray Bats For Elon Musk's EV Car Company, Writes To FM

Aaditya Thackeray arrives to meet Bhagat Singh Koshyari governor of Maharashtra state, in Mumbai, India, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani.

Aaditya Thackeray arrives to meet Bhagat Singh Koshyari governor of Maharashtra state, in Mumbai, India, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani.

Thackeray suggests that companies like Tesla, Rivian, Audi, BMW and more must be given a time-bound concessionary customs rate for the import of vehicles for retail sale.

It seems like Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has found another sympathizer. This time it’s the Minister for Tourism and Environment of Maharashtra – Aaditya Thackeray. This development has come about after Thackrey tweeted about writing to the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, about a few suggestions to boost electric mobility in India. One of these suggestions talks about how companies like Tesla, Rivian, Audi, BMW and must be given ‘a time-bound concessionary customs rate for the import of vehicles for retail sale.’

American automaker Tesla is arguably one of the most popular electric car companies in the world and while the talks of Tesla entering India have been going on for a while, the company’s CEO Elon Musk has been receiving invites to set up shop in different states in the country. It was only recently when Telangana Minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao invited Elon Musk to the state on Twitter. And now, Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil has tweeted to Elon Musk calling him to establish Tesla’s base in the state.

In a reply to a Tweet by Elong Musk, Jayant Patil tweeted. “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.”

This tweet was a reply to a Tweet posted recently by Elon Musk wherein the Tesla CEO had said that the company is, “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had replied to a tweet by Twitter user Pranay Pathole, who had posted a question related to Tesla’s launch in India, asking “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!”

Previously, Musk had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cut down on import taxes on EVs before the company enters the Indian market, as told to Reuters. In fact, India has a customs duty ranging between 60 per cent to 100 per cent on imported cars.

Musk also said that taxes in India are among the highest in the world, and hence, wanted them cut before there could be an entry into the Indian EV market. This invited the ire of a lot of Indian automobile manufacturers, who felt that this may discourage investment in local manufacturing.

Furthermore, Musk-owned Tesla had received approval for three more trims of its electric vehicles in India, bringing the total to seven versions approved in the country, media reports said. Tesla India received approval for three more vehicles in the country, citing information from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Teslarati reported earlier.

In August 2021, Tesla received homologation certificates for four of its car models. With three more certificates, the electric vehicle maker now has seven vehicles approved in India. The precise Tesla variants that received approval have not been specified. However, there have been sightings of Model 3s and Model Ys on Indian roads, the report said.

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The latest three vehicles with homologations certificates have not been named either, it added. A few Tesla test units have been regularly navigating through local roads in India. Still, the US-based EV maker has yet to make any serious moves toward local production.

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Earlier this year, Musk noted that a Tesla factory in India might be possible if Tesla were to succeed with imported vehicles. As per the report, some sources stated that Tesla requested to reduce the import duties of vehicles sent to India by at least 40 per cent, which could help the US company test demand in the country. However, governing officials stated that there is zero chance for a single company, like Tesla, to receive specific incentives.

(With IANS Inputs)

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first published:January 20, 2022, 17:34 IST