Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has said that granting special privileges to Tesla for selling its electric vehicles in India is not in the best interest of the company, especially since the government is working on developing EV ecosystem. Also Read - Elon Musk looking for dirt on Twitter via ad-tech firms
“Tesla is free to come in and put up shop here and sell its cars,” Aggarwal said in a statement to the Financial Times. “They just want to be treated differently from others, which I believe is not in the interests of India,” he added. Also Read - Apple lays off more contract-based employees to slow hiring, spending
Tesla in a stalemate in India
Elon Musk’s Tesla has been keen to enter the Indian market. However, one of the key demands by the company has been a reduction in import duties, which goes up to 100 percent for electric vehicles that cost over $40,000 (Rs 31,60,560 approximately). Tesla says that this import duty would make India its most expensive market, which in turn would make the car out of reach for most Indian consumers. The company at several instances in the past has requested the Indian government to standardise the tax on all EVs to 40 percent. Also Read - Ola Mission Electric 2022 event highlights in pics: Here’s all that was announced
The government, on its part, has refused to grant any concessions to the EV maker. Instead, it has responded to Tesla’s requests by pushing the company to commit to setting up a manufacturing facility in India before granting it incentives that would ultimately bring down the prices of the company’s EVs in India.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, back in May this year, reiterated government’s willingness to invite the company to manufacture it EVs in India. “If Tesla decides to make cars in India, it will also get benefits,” the Minister for Road Transport and Highways had said at the time.
Shortly after, Musk, responding to a tweet on question on his company setting up a plant in India said that Tesla would not manufacture its cars in India unless it is allowed to sell its cars first.
Tesla will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell & service cars
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2022
Then last month, a key Tesla executive in India, Manuj Khurana, who was hired in 2021 as the company’s policy and business development head, reportedly quit the company after it stalled its plans for entering the Indian EV market.