Elon Musk Takes to Twitter to Pressure Indian Govt Into Cutting Duty on Tesla Car Imports

© 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
Tesla 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 - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.01.2022
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Tesla secured the approval of launching seven of its electric vehicle (EV) models in India last year. However, the American EV maker wants the duty on imports of its cars to be cut before rolling them out in India.
Elon Musk, one of the most influential people with 69.9 million followers on Twitter, has revealed that he is working on “a lot of challenges” with the Indian government to launch a Tesla car in the south Asian country, while replying to a Twitter user's question on the matter.
Tesla has been seeking a cut in import duties, which can be as high as 110 percent on premium EVs, from the Indian government since 2019.
In a letter to India's Road, Transport, and Highway Ministry, the US firm requested a standard tariff on EVs of 40 percent, irrespective of the customs value.
According to the present tax structure, Tesla will have to pay 110 percent import tariff on its cheapest Model 3 car, which costs around $47,000 in the US market.
The Indian government, for its part, said on Thursday that Musk is trying to put pressure on India via social media.
"Tesla wants India to reduce import duties on cars without any commitment to produce in India," it said.
The Indian government has laid out a production-linked scheme for the auto sector under which any firm can get huge duty benefits if it produces locally. If Tesla assembles cars in India, it will pay zero duty on kits imports.
Last month, Musk tweeted that import duties in India are among the highest in the world, and the nation taxes clean energy vehicles as heavily as it does petrol, which isn't consistent with its climate goals.
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