Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office in India met with top officials to discuss government policies, including import duties and Tesla’s investment proposal. This week, government officials from India are considering Tesla’s request to reduce tariffs for imported cars, including electric vehicles (EVs).
“Their view has always been that they need some tariff concessions, at least in the interim period. It would have some kind of sunset clause,” stated one government official in India.
Indian officials said that the government is thinking of reducing its tariff for imported to 15% for EVs of all prices. India’s government has not yet officially agreed upon the tariff reduction. However, 15% is a significant reduction from the original customs duty of 70% on cars less than $40,000 and 100% for cars worth $40,000 or more. According to the Financial Times, government officials state that the tariff reduction would benefit all electric car manufacturers, not just Tesla.
“We want to create a package which is good for India and which doesn’t become a curated package for one company. Others are free to take advantage of this window, subject to meeting these kinds of requirements,” stated one of the officials.
During the meeting held by the Prime Minister’s Office, the officials also discussed fast-tracking approvals for Tesla’s proposed investment in the country by January 2024. Tesla has attempted to set up roots in India for quite some time but has failed in the past.
In October, India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, stated that Tesla must oblige to certain non-negotiables before entering the country to sell vehicles. India’s import duty appeared to be one of those non-negotiables. With the government considering a reduction in tariffs for imported cars, Tesla’s plans for India might be smoother to implement.
Elon Musk is scheduled to meet with India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal this week. The pair are expected to discuss Tesla’s entry into the Indian car market.