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Keen to launch Tesla in India, but hoping for lower import duty : Elon Musk

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 24, 2021

File photo   -  AP

Tesla aims to begin sales in India this year

Tesla's Elon Musk has urged India to lower import duties on electric vehicles even as the iconic brand is set to be launched in the country. 

Musk in a tweet said, "We want to do [launch EVs in India] so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country! Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India."

Tesla had announced its plans to launch in India in January. Since then the company has hired key top executives to look after local operations. 

"But we are hopeful that there will be at least a temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles. That would be much appreciated," Musk said in another tweet.

Other luxury car makers including Audi and Mercedes have been asking for a lower tax regime in India. 

"First you pay import duties (100 per cent) then you pay GST which is 48 per cent and then you have registration tax of another 15 per cent. So, it’s duties on duties on duties — a multiple layers of duties which is keeping this sector very niche,” Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, told BusinessLine recently.  That is why for the last five-six years, the luxury car market is stuck in the range of 30,000-40,000 units a year, he said.

Former Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra Pawan Goenka came out in support of Musk's demand. "Tesla wants a reduction in the import duty. I think the Government should consider lowering 100 per cent slab to 60 per cent for electric vehicles."

Published on July 24, 2021

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