As Tesla appears poised to enter the Indian automobile market, there has been a lot of discussion over how the company will fare in the country. While there is no official launch date thus far, it is presumed that Tesla cars will be made available in India in the first half of the year - possibly before June 2021.
But will such a vehicle have a higher or lower price point? Let's take a look at the prices of Tesla models in the US and contrast it with speculative prices for India.
In the past, company CEO Elon Musk had remained hesitant about entering the market, citing regulatory restrictions. "I’m told import duties are extremely high (up to 100%), even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable," he had tweeted in August 2019, adding in a follow-up post that "recent changes in sales tax give hope for future changes."
But with India pushing for an increase in homegrown businesses and products, the government had, in February 2020, raised customs duty for certain vehicles. As a result, customs duties for electric vehicles were revised, going up from 5-15%. Later that year, several states announced exemptions for those using EVs. The Tamil Nadu government, for example, has given a 100% road tax exemption for for all battery-operated vehicles till December 31, 2022.
It is against this backdrop that Tesla is entering India.
How much do Tesla cars cost in US? And how much will they cost in India?
Tesla's website puts the US price of the Model S Long Range Plus (it is a base model) at $67,920, while the price of the Model X Long Range Plus is estimated to be $78,490. The Model 3 Long Range is priced at $45,490. For those in India who have purchased Tesla car previously, the price is amplified greatly by the cost of shipping and paying all relevant taxes and duties upon entry.
But is this a cheaper option than buying the car in India?
While there have been no definitive report from the company about it's final India prices, many automobile websites have put forth tentative numbers. Both Cardekho and Zigwheels have reported that the Tesla Model 3 is expected to cost Rs. 60 lakh, while Model S is expected to be priced at Rs. 1.50 crore and Tesla Model X at Rs. 2.00 crore.