New Delhi: Union Minister for Roads and Highways Nitin Gadkari has invited Elon Musk’s Tesla to manufacture electric cars in the country and said that the government will provide all necessary support for the production site. Gadkari said at the ‘India Today Conclave 2021’, “I have warned Tesla that we will not sell electric cars made in China in India.” You should make electric vehicles in our country and export vehicles from India.”
The government may consider cutting import duties, along with providing other benefits to Tesla, but to do so, the EV maker will have to invest in setting up a manufacturing site in the country. Currently, India imposes a 100% import tax including insurance and shipping costs on imported cars over $40,000 (Rs 30 lakh), while cars below $40,000 attract a 60% import tax.
Musk had earlier expressed his desire to launch the automobile in India, but the country’s import duty on EVs is “the highest ever in the world.” Also read: 7th Pay Commission: These central government employees get promotion with increment of Rs 15,000 per month
“We want to do that, but the import duty is the highest in the world than any major country!” He posted on Twitter.
The EV firm had petitioned the government to reduce the import duty on EVs from 100% to 40%. It also intends to set up a manufacturing facility in Karnataka if Tesla succeeds with imported vehicles. Gadkari said whatever assistance Tesla would need to manufacture its electric vehicles in India, “the government will supply.”
According to the minister, Tesla has a good chance of setting up a production facility in India as the country is bullish on e-vehicles. At present, the premium car market in India is about 7% of the total car market. Without reduction in import duty, Tesla will remain premium but not ultra-premium in the Indian market. Gadkari further said that with the use of alternative fuels and technology, the Indian automobile business can become the world’s leading business. He said that it was his ambition to make India’s automobile sector a world leader in this segment.
“I am confident that we are going to become number one in the world by using alternative fuels and technology within five years,” the minister said.
On the issue of air pollution, Gadkari said, “The most important problem which our country is facing is the problem related to pollution and economy. And by using petrol and diesel we are going to create air pollution in the country.”