Tesla! The brand was recently hailed as being one of the world’s most valuable car company. In fact, it was rumoured that Tesla could be looking to pick stakes in one of the big German car companies. While there is no development on that front, what we can confirm is Tesla coming to India is almost a reality now. Tesla boss, Elon Musk, confirmed a few months ago that the electric car brand is looking to come here in 2021. However, if one were to dismiss his confirmation as a case of overenthusiasm, then they will easily be forgiven. Musk had on many an occasion confirmed his company’s intent of starting sales in India. However, these never bore fruition. In the Indian Express Idea Exchange program, Nitin Gadkari, the Minister for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises confirmed that Tesla India operations will begin in 2021.
It is said that while the company will open bookings from January 2021, the sales will start from June. Tesla is likely to start operations with the Model 3 and only online. This will mean lesser investment in the form of setting up dealerships and hiring staff. It is unclear where and when the deliveries will happen. The Model 3 is a sedan that claims to have a 0-100kmph time of 3.1s and a range of 500km+. It is likely that since Tesla has huge investments in its Shanghai plant and the Model 3 is made there, the vehicles will come directly from China. Being a CBU, the car could be priced at Rs 50 lakh, ex-showroom.
Following the Tesla Model 3, the American company could look at bringing in the Tesla Cybertruck. This is one of the most advanced electric truck in the world. It also has semi-autonomous capability. There is also the standard adaptive air suspension on offer and more than 5,000kg towing capacity. The claimed range is slightly less than 500km. The Model S is a BMW 5 Series competitor in terms of space, and pricing. However, the claimed range here is a shade under 650km. Tesla also offers more desirable models like Model X, the Model Y as well as Roadster. These are likely to come to our market at a slightly later date.
At present, the Indian EV scene seems very bright. Customers are taking a liking to electric cars offered by the likes of MG India in the form of the ZS and the Kona from Hyundai. There is also the lower priced yet highly versatile Tata Nexon EV as well. Mahindra is ready with its electric KUV while Mercedes-Benz sells the EQC SUV here as well. Jaguar has lined up its i-Pace SUV for a launch next year whereas Maruti Suzuki-Toyota, Ford-Mahindra are also working on their electric cars. Many new buildings have incorporated electric chargers in parking lots in their blueprint. Malls as well as public parking spots too have got these in place. There are also charging stations on highways and in petrol pumps as well. Most of these charging spots, as a public initiative, offer zero costs for juicing up vehicle batteries. Another innovative approach is that of battery swapping. Put your depleted battery for charging and take another with full charge.
Tesla possibly couldn’t enter the Indian car scene earlier because of the requirement that there be a 30 per cent local supplier base. A local supplier will not only help generate income to the vendors in India but might also encourage the Make-in-India operations. Well, we are waiting to get our hands on the first Tesla car in India, the Model 3. We’re pretty sure, you too are.
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