Tesla Won’t Get Lower Import Duties in India, Says Minister

Tesla lobbied in India for lowered import duties on vehicles last month, but according to a new report from a government official within the country, the change won’t be happening.

India’s Junior Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar stated earlier this week the government has no plans to reduce import duties on vehicles, just a few weeks after Tesla requested such an act in the world’s second most-populated nation, according to Bloomberg.

The minister did add that the government is working through plans to help promote EV adoption, but that lowering import taxes was not one of those ways.

CEO Elon Musk has complained for years about the high cost of India’s import duties, which the company has said makes an entry into the country “unaffordable.”

Tesla also offered to open a local plant once import duties were lowered allowing the company to more easily sell its EVs at more affordable prices in the country. The offer came just a few months after one Minister told Tesla that India could offer the lowest production costs in the world, if Tesla would construct a plant within the country.

Last month, Musk said, “We want to do so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!”, referring to India.

“Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India,” added Musk.

The Tesla CEO further stated, “but we are hopeful that there will be at least a temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles. That would be much appreciated.” Looks like that didn’t happen, setting a major blow for Tesla.

A camouflauge Tesla Model 3 was also recently seen test driving around a city center in India.