Tesla India Launch Not Happening Anytime Soon?


In February this year, in a recent Twitter conversation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that he is hoping to bring the brand to India by the summer of 2017. Tesla is currently active in many international markets including China. The electric car market in India is still in a very nascent stage with the Mahindra e2o and the eVerito being the only offerings. Tesla might also be looking to invest in battery manufacturing and car manufacturing plants in India. However, in his latest reply to a tweet asking him about Tesla’s launch in India, he has hinted there might be a delay.

tesla india launch tesla model 3

Seen below is the conversation Elon Musk had regarding Tesla India launch prospects. Based on his reply, it seems India isn’t quite ready for a manufacturing facility for Tesla products. However, Tesla might consider bringing models via the CBU route.

tesla coming to india elon musk tweet

However, the Government was quick to respond to Musk’s concerns. The official Make in India Twitter page responded by stating that FDI policy of India does not mandate any such minimum sourcing of components by manufacturers. Does that mean Tesla is coming to India then? Highly unlikely as the Tesla needs to source parts locally to establish a cost effective manufacturing facility, support for which might not exist in India just yet.

tesla india launch

The new Model 3, which is due to be launched in international markets this year, could be the car that spearheads Tesla India launch. However, being a CBU, it will attract hefty import duties. So, while the Model 3 is meant to be an affordable offering from Tesla, it will still be out of the reach of most India car buyers.

tesla india launch
Elon Musk tweeted this earlier this year

When asked about a possible Tesla India launch date, Elon Musk responded with a possible summer 2017 launch. However, we still do not have the infrastructure in place to properly support the usage of electric cars in India. During Nitin Gadkari’s visit to Tesla’s plant in California, he offered the manufacturer land to set up a plant in Inda. Tesla has also shown interest in setting up a battery manufacturing unit here in India for exports to South East Asian markets.

tesla india launch tesla model s

Tesla India Launch

Model Expected Launch Date
Tesla Model 3 Summer 2017

If Tesla does come to India by the summer of 2017, the first model to go on sale here will be the Model 3. Although the Model X and Model S could also be brought in via the CBU route.

tesla india launch tesla model x

Since Tesla is not manufacturing cars in India yet, and will not be doing so anytime soon, their products will¬†not be able to take advantage of the Government’s FAME scheme. Also, hefty import duties levied on CBUs will ensure very high pricing of Tesla products in India.

Tesla Model Lineup

  • Model S
  • Model X
  • Model 3

While the Model S and Model X are already on sale in international markets, deliveries of the Model 3 are yet to begin. Model 3 is the cheapest offering in Tesla’s lineup with a starting price of around $35,000.

Stay tuned to Car Blog India for more updates on Tesla India launch. Do you want to see Tesla in India? Do let us know via the comments section below.

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  1. Does any car maker uses dynamo fitted with the wheel to charge the battery when the vehicle runs over 10 kmph. So, that the user don’t have to plug in and wait for 8 to 10 hours to charge it.

  2. Tata Power , Adhani, Essar could tie-up with M& M , Nissan Leaf and setup Charging infrastructure across india. Due to Reliance into petrol this is not happening.

  3. Very much interested in eco friendly cars
    And all the best to Tesla team for their work
    Desperately waiting

  4. Everyone wants cheap electric cars to save on fuel. The Govt is not serious on the issue in cutting down import bills for oil. “Make in India” Rule is on media. We have all business houses /agents in India who wants to import & assemble & do business. See Mahindra REVA E20 pricing. Neither we have Lithium batteries nor motors to churn the wheel. Practically we can use Elect Golf Carts as available in market. The Govt is making a time-pass via FAME. No one is serious in cutting oil import bills. Let pollution continue. Interestingly Electric Rickshaws are flourishing in all cities as the local technology of India. with a physical relief to a Rickshaw puller. We keep on barking at China & don’t want them to enter India with Electric vehicles. One of the finest joke on ” Make In India” is all rich business houses are having joint ventures on Arms development & supply to Indian Forces with manufacturers of Arms in other countries. Their role shall be like Agents under the the umbrella of technology transfer. Govt wants that. We do not want to grow against Govt wishes. Let Acche Din be our dream.


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