Tesla’s challenges in India as it gears up to sell EVs

If you’ve been following Tesla’s India plans, you may have heard the news that they’re finally going to start deliveries of the Model 3 in 2020. But if you’re uncertain about what this means for Tesla in India, don’t worry — we’ve put together a primer on Tesla’s challenges in India and what all this means for their Model 3 launch.

Basically, it’s not an easy environment for electric vehicles. The country relies heavily on fossil fuels and has a major lack of charging stations nationwide; at present there are only around 1,800 fast-charging stations across the country. Tesla, like other automakers, will have a lot of changes to make in order to penetrate the Indian market. So, let’s dive into the state of affairs for EVs in India…

The Indian government has set a target to sell only electric vehicles by 2030 — but with the current infrastructure and lack of demand for EVs we don’t think that’s possible. In fact, there are currently less than 1 million EVs in all of India.

Tesla’s entry is possible because it is an electric vehicle maker with a single offering at present – The Tesla Model 3. There is no evidence Tesla has plans to introduce another model on this scale.

Tesla is not just the first major global automaker to enter the Indian market. It is also the first global automaker to unroll a dealer network which will operate on a franchise system.

The question being asked, why Tesla? Some of the reasons include:

In this context, it is similar in price to cars such as Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4L. Tesla cars are seen as status symbols, but this may change with possible government subsidies to bring down prices.

Telsa’s unveiling of Model 3 was geared towards addressing key markets in Europe and China and India for further production expansion.. With the price of its Model 3 starting from $35,000($53,900) in the US, analysts believed that India could be a key market for Tesla.

Concept cars will have redesigned headlights and taillights in three styles: current, sleeker and slightly more aggressive. These will be similar to those on the Model S and X, but with an all-new grille:

The entry of Tesla in India is also likely to influence other automakers who are considering entering the country.

The Auto Expo 2018 is scheduled to begin on February 9th in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh and Tesla is expected to showcase their models there.

List of Current Exhibitors at the Auto Expo:

  • 2018-02-10: List of EV’s waiting for approval by Government of India. We don’t think any other car maker has such a huge list.
  • List updated Oct 2017 : Tesla launched its network with a vision to sell Model S and Model X cars and to set up charging stations across India. The first charging station was launched in Delhi in November 2013 at Select City Walk mall premises.
  • As of 2016, there were nine charging stations across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Tesla has also signed a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (APGENCO) to set up charging stations in the state.

In January 2017, Tesla said that it would set up six more charging stations by the end of 2017 and had received support from India’s Energy Ministry. It plans to double this number in 2018.

The company’s Model S was officially launched in India on July 7th, 2014. The first cars were delivered to customers on August 28th. The price of Model S range starts from INR 64 lakhs (INR 6 million).

The company opened its first showroom at Select Citywalk Mall in Delhi in November 2013. It plans to open more showrooms across India.

As of January 2017, Tesla sells the Model S 75D battery pack with a starting price of INR 94 lakhs (INR 9.4 million).

The model S P100D is the most powerful and fastest vehicles on the road today; it offers a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.8 seconds and a 0-100 kmph time of 7 seconds. It has a top speed of 230 mph and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 1.9 seconds.

The Model S P100D is currently the most powerful, quickest, and most expensive Tesla car available in India.

Tesla Motors started sales of the Model X in India on November 14th, 2018

In 2017, reports suggested that Tesla might increase production capacity at their facility in Bengaluru to enable them to increase their production by 40,000 cars per annum by 2020. Furthermore, they have listed Gurgaon as another site where they would begin production of the Model 3 at once. However, there is no concrete evidence to confirm these claims yet.

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