US-based premium electric car maker Tesla Motors is keen to enter the Indian market and has even identified the country as one of the possible locations to set up a manufacturing plant in Asia.
The company, however, said India’s high duty on imported vehicles and lack of a separate category for electric cars is preventing it from selling its vehicles in the country despite having a huge potential. “By 2015 we can get our cars in India, provided issues related to high taxation on imported vehicles and lack of a separate category for import of electric vehicles are addressed,” Tesla Motors Chief Information Officer Jay Vijayan told reporters here. When asked how Tesla could succeed in India where electric cars have found it difficult to find acceptance, he said the company has not been positioning its car as just an electric vehicle but as “a car as good as any other conventional car but driven by electricity”.
He said the company has already started a preliminary study the Indian market. “We know there is a good potential in India for Tesla,” Vijayan said, adding “based on demand there could be a manufacturing plant in Asia and India could be one of the possible locations”. He said Tesla has been working to produce affordable electric car to cater to the mass segment. “With our 3rd generation car Tesla Model 3, we are looking to make it more affordable at a price of around $30,000-35,000, which is about half of our current Model S,” Vijayan said.
The company has a manufacturing plant at Freemont in US that can roll out half a million units annually. It also has an assembly unit in the Netherlands to cater to the European market. The biggest demand for Tesla in Asia comes from China, where it sold around 5,000 units. North America and Europe are Tesla’s biggest markets.