Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal is slated to meet with Tesla’s Elon Musk in the United States, according to latest media reports. The high-stakes discussion aims to drive forward Tesla’s entry into the South Asian giant’s market.
What Happened? According to a report by Mint, the upcoming meeting, building on the momentum of Musk’s interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will explore Tesla’s ambitions to establish a manufacturing hub in India. The agenda includes talks on producing a budget-friendly $24,000 electric vehicle, boosting local component sourcing, and rolling out a comprehensive charging network.
A pivotal point of discussion will be India’s evolving electric vehicle (EV) policy, which may allow automakers to import fully assembled EVs at a significantly slashed tax rate of 15%, provided they commit to local production. This policy could be a game-changer, potentially reducing import taxes from the current steep 100%.
Why it matters? The talks aim to align Tesla’s aspirations with India’s strategic direction, ensuring a smooth road ahead for both parties. While Tesla eyes setting up a factory and seeks concessions on import taxes for its premium models, India is keen to accelerate its new EV policy, which was the subject of a recent high-level meeting led by PM Modi’s office.
The government is also evaluating the policy’s potential impact on the domestic EV market, mindful of local manufacturers’ concerns that lower import taxes might disrupt their operations.
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Tesla’s journey to India has seen its share of speed bumps, with initial attempts in 2021 hitting a roadblock over the import tax debate. However, with these renewed talks, the wheels are in motion again, potentially leading to a landmark deal that could supercharge India’s position in the global EV race.
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