Tesla Model 3 to enter India soon, bookings to begin next month: Report
Tesla Inc., the world’s most valuable automaker, is all set to enter the Indian market in 2021. According to a report in ET Auto, the US electric vehicle giant will bring its best-selling and most affordable Model 3 here by end of first quarter of FY 2021-22. While the deliveries will begin later, the bookings for the electric sedan will commence in India from next month. In October, CEO Elon Musk had tweeted about the company’s entry in India in 2021.
Though the company had initially planned to launch the Model 3 here in 2017, with its pre-bookings opened in 2016, the EV maker delayed its plans because of India's import policy and inadequate infrastructure, as per the report. However, the plan seems to be taking off now.
Just like in international markets, Tesla is expected to follow the direct sales model in India as well. The company will bank upon digital sales, without appointing any dealers here. The cars will be imported via the completely built unit (CBU) route and is likely to be priced from ₹55 lakh onwards. According to the company’s results in the 3rd quarter of 2020, the Tesla Model 3 along with the Model Y accounted for 89% of the total sales.
Performance wise, The Model 3 is just as efficient as a usual Tesla. The fully electric sedan comes with a 60kw hour lithium-ion battery pack. With its top speed of 162 mph, the car goes from 0-60 mph in only 3.1 seconds. Apart from this, the Model 3 also offers 500 km of range. It comes in three different variants, the Standard Range or the Standard Range plus (RWD – Rear Wheel Drive), the Long Range and the Long-Range performance (AWD – All Wheel Drive.)
Earlier reports mentioned that Tesla is also in talks with the Indian government to setup an R&D center in Bengaluru, for which at least two rounds of discussions have already been held. Some other reports state that Tesla's first facility in India could likely be established in either Kerala or Maharashtra.
Even if Tesla enters the Indian market with its EVs, these are expected to be beyond reach of the masses unless the government announces massive incentives and/or Tesla is able to start local production. And in a price-sensitive country like India, it could be an uphill climb for Tesla to truly establish a firm foothold - not just against the few EVs already here but against regular cars running on petrol or diesel. Nonetheless, if the reports be true, entry of Tesla could mean a significant step for the country's EV scenario.