Tesla set to debut in India as transport ministry gives green light to four models
Tesla Inc is set to make its official debut in India after receiving approval to manufacture or import four models in the South Asian country.
Tesla has had its vehicles certified roadworthy in India, a post on the website of the National Ministry of Road Transport and Highways showed.
“The tests ensure that the vehicle meets the requirements of the Indian market in terms of emissions, safety and MOT,” according to the site. A Tesla fan club had previously tweeted about the development, saying the cars were likely variants of the Model 3 and Model Y, according to a report from the agency.
Gaining a foothold in the Indian auto market will not be easy given that electric vehicles only account for 1% of the country’s annual car sales and Tesla’s automobiles are very expensive.
Lack of charging infrastructure and lack of funding for companies wishing to develop electric cars are other reasons India is lagging behind in the electric transition.
Another obstacle is the country’s high tax regime. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted last month that India’s import duties are among the highest in the world and that the country treats clean energy vehicles the same as gasoline, which doesn’t is not in line with its climate objectives.
The billionaire said a plant in India was “very likely” if the California automaker could first test the waters by importing vehicles.