Ola disagrees with Hyundai, Tesla seeking low import duties on EVs. Here is why
From Tesla to Hyundai, carmakers are seeking lower import duties on electric vehicles in an effort to make the EV business in India more viable. Both carmakers have come out seeking support from the Centre to lower import duties. However, some of the other EV makers in India seem to be divided on this matter.
After Tata Motors sought 'equal treatment' from the Centre regarding its EV policy, Ola Electric is putting its weight behind indigenous manufacture of battery-powered mobility options.
Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO at Ola Electric, reacted to Hyundai Motor's take on Tesla's recent demand. He said, "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. We won’t be the first country to do so."
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Ola Electric will join a list of electric two-wheeler manufacturers in India as it gears up to launch its first electric scooter in the next few weeks. The company is also building the world's largest electric two-wheeler manufacturing facility near Chennai.
Earlier today, during an event to inaugurate Hyundai's new corporate headquarters in Gururgam, SS Kim, MD and CEO at HMIL, 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."
Hyundai has been aggressively pushing electric cars in global markets with new launches. One of its latest models, the Ioniq 5, was showcased today at the event. Hyundai currently offers the Kona Electric SUV as its only electric vehicle in the Indian markets.
Hyundai CEO said that the government's support key for EV push in India as the price of electric cars remain too high while the infrastructure still remains lacking. "The EV movement is strong in the two and three-wheeled segments but will be more gradual in the four-wheeler segment," he said.
Earlier last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said that import duties in India are 'the highest in the world' and is likely to work against its interests. He said that Tesla is 'quite likely' to build a manufacturing unit in India, but hopes for 'at least a temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles'.