Ola's India Chief Wants India to Build EVs as Musk Asks Gov't for Tax Cuts on Imports
18:09 GMT 27.07.2021 (Updated: 18:45 GMT 27.07.2021)
© REUTERS / ALY SONGTesla Inc CEO Elon Musk walks next to a screen showing an image of Tesla Model 3 car during an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020.
© REUTERS / ALY SONG
Tesla officially registered with India's Registrar of Companies in January this year, and is likely to set up showrooms in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru cities.
Days after Tesla owner Elon Musk said that India's import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) are the "highest in the world," Co-founder of ride-sharing firm Ola Cabs Bhavish Aggarwal said he believes India should be able to build EVs itself.
Aggarwal on Tuesday wrote, "Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import. We won’t be the first country to do so."
Amid the debate over import tax rates, Musk and South Korean auto major Hyundai asked the Indian government for a duty reduction. Musk tweeted on Sunday: "We want to do so (launch Tesla), but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country! Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India."
Hyundai Motor India CEO Seon Seob Kim said, "We have heard that Tesla is seeking some duty cut on imports of CBUs. So that would be very helpful for the OEMs to reach some economy of scale in this very price competitive segment."
According to reports, Tesla wrote to the Indian government saying, "slashing federal taxes on imports of fully assembled electric cars to 40 percent would be more appropriate." While Musk's move to launch a Tesla subsidiary was welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has dismissed the possibility of granting Tesla any company-specific incentives.
According to laws in India, cars imported as Completely Built Units (CBUs) are subject to customs duty ranging from 60 percent for vehicles priced below $40,000 and 100 percent for those above $40,000.
Recently, Ola Cabs jumped onto the EV bandwagon and set up the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing unit in the country. Ola Electric, valued at over a billion dollars, is likely to launch three models under the Ola S-series of scooters.