Tesla India might get approval by early 2024, as the local government discusses a policy change for electric vehicles in the country.
The Indian government aims to approve Tesla’s future facilities in India by January 2024. Government departments discussed a policy change affecting electric vehicle manufacturing in India recently. Tesla’s investment proposal to India was included in the discussions.
“Though the agenda of the meeting was centered on general policy matters, fast-tracking approvals by January 2024 to Tesla’s proposed investment in the country was [spelled] out,” an official from the Indian government stated.
According to sources from The Economic Times, the Prime Minister’s Office held a meeting with top officials in the government to discuss policies, including import duty on electric vehicles. Previously, Tesla India discussions hit a standstill when the local government refused to reduce import duty on electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer’s cars.
Tesla sought to reduce import duty to 40% on its EVs assembled outside India. However, the country has specific rules on imported vehicles, including a 60% import duty on all vehicles below $40,000 and a 100% rate on cars above $40,000. India’s customs duty also does not differentiate between electric vehicles and cars that run on hydrocarbons. Its policies center on encouraging local manufacturing and imposing high duties on imported vehicles.
Tesla has tried to negotiate with India about potential investments in the country. The EV manufacturer wanted to test the Indian car market by importing vehicles from Giga Shanghai in China before establishing a manufacturing plant in India. As part of its plans, Tesla sought to reduce import duties in India. The Texas-based company also wants Tesla cars to be treated as electric rather than luxury cars.
India’s current policies on vehicle imports make Tesla’s investment proposal challenging to approve. However, the Indian government is working on a new policy that might address the challenges to Tesla’s investment proposal and drive local electric vehicle manufacturing for any company seeking to invest in India.
“A new category may be introduced in the import policy to ensure that clean energy-driven vehicles are taxed lower,” said an official. The official also elaborated that the new policy would not be “just for Tesla but for anyone committing to set up electric vehicle manufacturing units.”