Addressing an event here, Gadkari said the days are not far off when prices for all electric vehicles will be lower than the cost of gasoline-powered vehicles in the country.
“Agar Tesla India me electric car manufacturing karega toh unka bhi fayda hoga (If Tesla manufactures its electric vehicles in India, they will also benefit),” he said.
Earlier on April 26, Gadkari had said that if Tesla is ready to manufacture its electric vehicles in India, there is “no problem”, but the company must not import cars from China.
“If Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) is ready to manufacture in India then there is no problem… Come to India, start manufacturing, India is a big market, they can export from India. India,” he said during an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue.
Last year, the Ministry of Heavy Industries also asked Tesla to start manufacturing its flagship electric vehicles in India before tax breaks could be considered.
Currently, cars imported as Completely Built Units (CBUs) are subject to tariffs ranging from 60% to 100%, depending on the size of the engine and the value of the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) less or more than 40,000 USD.
Last year, in a letter to the Department of Highways, the US firm said the effective import tariff of 110% on vehicles with a customs value over US$40,000 was “prohibitive” for vehicles zero emissions.
She had asked the government to standardize the tariff on electric cars at 40%, regardless of the customs value, and to abolish the social surcharge of 10% on electric cars.
He said the changes would boost the development of India’s electric vehicle ecosystem and the company would make significant direct investments in sales, service and charging infrastructure; and significantly increase purchases from India for its global operations.
The company had argued that these proposals would have no negative impact on the Indian car market as no Indian original equipment manufacturer currently produces a car (EV or internal combustion engine) with an ex-factory price above 40 000 USD (about Rs 30.6 lakh), and only 1-2% of cars sold in India (EV or ICE) have an ex-factory/customs value above 40,000 USD.