As India gears up for a surge in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, the government is committed to providing equal incentives to both local and foreign companies, debunking concerns over preferential treatment for international giant Tesla. Senior government officials have confirmed that any incentives aimed at fostering local EV production will be uniform across the board.
Tesla, eyeing a manufacturing facility in India, has reportedly sought provisional tariff concessions. However, New Delhi is steering away from company-specific exemptions, emphasizing a holistic approach to benefit the entire EV industry. The government’s stance is rooted in supporting both domestic and foreign investors, recognizing the robust presence of local companies in the sector.
The government is currently formulating a comprehensive policy to encourage domestic EV manufacturing, aligning with the entry strategies of Tesla and Vietnamese competitor VinFast. While the policy guidelines are pending finalization, concerns have surfaced among local automakers about potential concessions in import duty specifically for Tesla.
Unnamed industry executives have expressed apprehension about a reduction in import duty granting an unfair advantage to Tesla, potentially impacting investments made by domestic players in EV production. Major Indian automakers like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, alongside companies such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai-Kia, have already invested significantly in electric vehicle initiatives, aiming for a robust presence in the market by 2030.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade is spearheading discussions to introduce a scheme subsidizing electric four-wheeler manufacturers, tying incentives to investments made in local production. The government’s objective is to stimulate employment and reduce overall car prices through increased local manufacturing.
Tesla is reportedly advocating for lower customs duty on imported vehicles until its local factory becomes operational. However, specifics regarding the threshold of investment required for carmakers to qualify for benefits under the proposed scheme are still under consideration.
Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, after visiting Tesla’s factory in California, acknowledged the contribution of Indian professionals to Tesla’s success and highlighted the growing role of Indian auto component suppliers in Tesla’s supply chain. Despite these engagements, Goyal clarified that no decision had been made regarding Tesla’s entry into the Indian market.
In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed confidence in the company’s entry into India after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The unfolding developments underscore India’s commitment to fostering a competitive and inclusive landscape for electric vehicle manufacturing.