If you’ve had your eye on a Tesla Model 3 and are based out of the Indian subcontinent, you’re likely to be very very confused. There have been all kinds of whispers going around with regards to Tesla’s Elon Musk and of course our very own Prime-ministerial enigma Narendra Modi. First off the idea that Tesla is interested in setting up a plant in India but will it ever happen? Yes, all accounted for, have theoretically, there is no reason as to why they shouldn’t and local production would also translate into lower prices for the Model 3 in the near future. However, it is extremely speculative to expect anything to take off on that front till 2019. At which point, we expect that not only will the Model 3 have been on the road for almost a year but other players too will be in the market, including the local market players like Mahindra et al. Alternatively you could import one, and that means that you’d be adding a 60% duty on the Model 3 which retails at about $ 35,000 USD or 22 lakh rupees. Add to that the 60% duty and the total valuation comes up to 37 lakhs approximately. On the flip side, things could change drastically for Tesla if they start manufacturing in India, duties will drop to mere 10% bringing the Model 3 in at a speculative 24 lakh!
This is where things get interesting, both the Toyota Prius and the Honda Accord hybrid retail for a price significantly higher than that and although it’s no Model S, the Model 3 doesn’t really miss out on kit either. It will be capable of doing a pretty significant 350 kilometres on a single charge, which means it will be more than what you would need on a day-to-day basis. Now although the Model 3 does benefit from Tesla’s supercharging ports, even US-based customers will have to pay a premium for it. Tesla, however, say it will be cheaper significantly than conventional gas, which seems fair. The catch is 2019 is too early to expect supercharging stations in India.Meaning that you will have to stick to standard charging which could take a couple of hours. Again even at Rs 37 lakh landed that still seems like a pretty solid deal.
Make it more interesting you say? Well, the Model 3 may not get the ludicrous mode from the Model S although Elon Musk said it will get institutionalised in coming models. That said, the Model 3 is no slouch! The Model 3 shoots off the line hitting the tonne in about 5.6 seconds which puts it on par, if not ahead of most entry level luxury cars. Finally, the Tesla also gives you something similar to what the Prius did, and that is the green crusader status, at a price more reasonable than the Prius, in a car that is significantly more practical and technologically advanced.
Circling back to the competition, we know that Tesla’s designs created a market boom unlike we’ve seen in the industry for ages. Tesla, however, still has a tremendous head start, while the rest of the so-called satellite startups on the lines of Faraday Future and what have you, still have their ways to go, before we could see a practical yet moderately affordable model on the lines of the Model 3. All this means is if your future has plans of a 3-series or a C-Class, you could seriously consider paying a small premium for the Model S. While it may seem far fetched the Model 3 will continue to be our biggest hope of an electric future as close as 2019.