India opens gates to Tesla carsR


Rama Krishna Sangem

India has opened up for US-based Tesla’s entry in the country with the launch of a new scheme to promote the manufacturing of electric passenger cars. The scheme allows the import of completely built-up (CBU) cars at a 15 per cent import duty. “The policy is designed to attract investment in the e-vehicle space by reputed global EV (electric vehicle) manufacturers,” said the commerce ministry in a press statement.

Currently, fully assembled Completely Built-Up (CBU) vehicles priced at more than $40,000 attract a 100 per cent tax. Those below $40,000 are subject to 70 per cent tax. With the new scheme, companies like Tesla can import CBUs at the same rate as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units that attract 15 per cent import duty and have to be assembled. Tesla had requested for duty reduction during its meetings with government officials.

According to a notification by the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI), lower import duty will be allowed for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that commit to a minimum investment of Rs 4,150 crore (around $500 million) in India.


Tesla manufacturing unit in India

For this  scheme, companies will have to set up manufacturing facilities in India within three years and achieve a localisation level of 50 per cent by the fifth year. An applicant company, or its affiliated enterprises, must have a minimum revenue threshold of Rs 10,000 crore from automotive manufacturing, along with a global investment commitment of Rs 3,000 crore in fixed assets.

“Under this scheme, EV passenger cars (e-4W) can initially be imported with a minimum Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) value of $35,000, at a duty rate of 15 per cent for a period of five years from the date of issuance of approval letter by MHI,” said the policy draft for the scheme.

ALSO READ: OpenAI slams Elon Musk, calls his claims ‘incoherent’ in court filing. If an investment amounts to $800 million or more, a maximum of 40,000 EVs would be allowed at a 15 per cent duty rate. There will be a minimum number of vehicles a company can import and the threshold will be determined by the investment they commit.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at