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The Signal's Still Red for Tesla to Reach India

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Dreams of owning a Tesla in India will have to wait, due to the heavy import taxes coupled with many other challenges, and the worst part is, there’s no 'one-size-fits-all' solution to any of them. Responding to the import taxes, Elon Musk tweeted that it would be appropriate if import taxes on fully assembled electric cars are cut by 40 percent from the range of 60 percent to 100 percent. But Tesla's not the only one on the ship, in fact, Hyundai backed the next-generation electric car maker by tweeting that “lower duties will help grow the EV (Electric Vehicle) market”. Utterly in disagreement with the two are Ola’s Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Agarwal who had introduced freshly manufactured electric two-wheeler, who retorted back tweeting, “Strongly disagree with both. Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration, however, wants to boost local manufacturing. On the other hand, Tesla requested India to allow for the cost-friendly importing of EVs before it implants its manufacturing plant in the county.

Therefore, the nation has now asked Tesla to drive into the country on two conditions, one is that Tesla is asked to increase its procurement and the other is to share detailed manufacturing plans before its demands for lower EV taxes are approved. Additionally, it asked the next-generation EV maker to consider importing fully-assembled automobiles as well as so-called knockdown units, or partially-assembled vehicles, which would attract cheaper import duties.

Currently, Tesla is believed to have purchased components worth $100 million from India so far, with the sum expected to rise if the taxes lost a few pounds. Tesla also stated that once it enters the world’s second-most populous country, it will make large direct investments in sales, service, and charging infrastructure, as well as examine broader manufacturing projects.
But Mr. Musk seems rather displeased with how India’s rules prohibit the billionaire technopreneurial tycoon to run a trial with the imports first since high duties make Tesla’s EVs not quite budget-friendly.

A Traffic Full of Problems
While a certain number of EV makers already exist, startups are joining the ride with their various technologies in the line as well. Indicating that it would not be long before India’s journey to becoming one of the world’s largest EV sectors turns green.

Yet the passages are blocked by various obstacles barricading the running of all EVs in general.
Starting with FAME, its terms and conditions lack covering low-speed electric two-wheelers or lead-acid battery-powered EVs. High-speed EVs, on the other hand, call for a registration fee as well as a driver’s license. As a result, many buyers are hesitant to purchase electric vehicles.
Another existing concern is about the vehicle’s range to get from point A to point B before the battery runs out. This issue is inextricably linked to India’s limited charging infrastructure. Compared to petrol pumps, India’s electric charging infrastructures are woefully inadequate and are mostly found in urban areas.

Speaking of charging, the battery and power electronics account for over two-thirds of the cost of an electric vehicle. Nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries are the most extensively utilized battery materials today. An EV’s battery, power electronics, and motors can now cost six to seven times as much as an IC (Industrial Combustible) engine.

But of course, new battery technologies and storage systems capable of replacing Lithium-ion batteries are on the way.

There again the development of associated infrastructural support for the business, like charging infrastructure, is hampered by policy uncertainty. The lack of clarity on AC versus DC charging facilities, grid reliability, and range anxiety are all factors to consider.

EVs have higher maintenance costs and necessitate higher levels of expertise. Dedicated training programs for such skill development are not available in India.

There’s also another set of financial opportunities like limited financing options, high interest, high insurance cost, limited loan opportunities and the most obvious are the exuberant import taxes.

But nevertheless, Tesla has been attempting to drive into Asia’s third-largest economy, since EVs account for less than one percent of annual vehicle sales, compared to approximately five percent in China. Unlike China, where Tesla established its first manufacturing plant outside of the US and currently dominates electric-car sales, India’s charging infrastructure and high cost have hindered large-scale adoption of electric vehicles.

Having a Tesla is fairly equivalent to owning a smartphone. Consider upgrading the phone overnight and spending the majority of the mornings learning about the new capabilities in the OS. With a Tesla, it’s very much the same; regular software updates gives access to all of the new features. Not to mention, the app gives access to the car’s fundamental functions.

Why Tesla When there's Already Other Existing EVs?
EVs have been in the streets for a while, but Tesla is the only one that’s made a success out of the business. Most consumers prefer Tesla over other strong competitors since they can drive long distances and won’t have to worry about finding charging stations because they will find them in almost every region they visit.

Another factor is that, while other automakers are constantly attempting to scale their EVs, Tesla is not only thinking about the entire EV industry, but is also sweating over various developments and looking at factors that may exceed consumer expectations. As a result, it demonstrates that its thinking is also advanced.

Much like other tech companies, Tesla is intent on changing existing business models within the stodgy automotive industry. Its product pipeline and founder evoke a loyal following similar to those for iconic tech companies such as Apple for instance.

Unlike other car manufacturers who sell through franchised dealerships, Tesla sells directly to consumers. It has created an international network of company-owned showrooms and galleries.

Having a Tesla is fairly equivalent to owning a smartphone. Consider upgrading the phone overnight and spending the majority of the mornings learning about the new capabilities in the OS. With a Tesla, it’s very much the same; regular software updates gives access to all of the new features. Not to mention, the app gives access to the car’s fundamental functions.

Tesla's battery architecture is not a simple one. The wonder automobile is put together on a complicated assembly line with various wires and batteries, all of which must be perfectly aligned. A remarkable range and performance are aided by the streamlined combination.

The majority of electric automobiles on the market would impose a compromise on performance. But it’s a different story with a Tesla. Since the user could potentially be driving one of the fastest automobiles on the road with this product of Mr. Musk’s creativity.

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