A day after Mercedes-Benz declared it will soon manufacture its electric vehicle (EV), the EQS series, in India, Tesla top boss Elon Musk said the launch of its EV has been delayed because of “challenges” in dealing with the Indian government.
Musk has been wanting to sell Tesla Inc. cars in India for over three years now, but the launch has been delayed time and again mainly due to India’s condition that Tesla should manufacture in India.
“Still working through a lot of challenges with the government,” Musk said in a Twitter post early Thursday, replying to a user who’d asked if there was any update on Tesla’s launch in India.
In October last year, Union Minister for Roads and Highways Nitin Gadkari had said on a public platform that he had invited Tesla to manufacture electric cars in India and promised all necessary support from the government side. “I have warned Tesla that we would not sell electric cars built in China in India. You should build electric vehicles in our country and export vehicles from India,” Gadkari had said then.
Tesla has also complained about high import duties of as much as 100% which has stalled the launch so far. Musk’s company has argued that the Indian car consumer is budget-conscious, hence the government needs to lower tax rates.
On this demand, Gadkari had said that the government may consider cutting import duties besides providing other benefits to Tesla, but the company has to first invest in setting up a manufacturing site in the country.