As the wait for Tesla cars get longer amid the import duty war between Elon Musk and the Indian government, two Model 3 electric vehicles have been spotted on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, igniting hope for its arrival as the country approaches the festive season.
The unofficial Tesla Club India handle tweeted the photos of two camouflaged Model 3 test vehicles on Tuesday.
“Two Camouflaged Model 3 Test Units. One with testing apparatus as earlier seen also. 337 seems to be new. Is Ground Clearance raised in it or just image thing?” it said in a tweet.
“Location is Parking lot near Starbucks on Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Potential Supercharger location,” it claimed.
A Blue Tesla Model 3 was earlier spotted on the streets in Pune (brought from its Gigafactory in Shanghai, China).
As Tesla firms up its plans to roll out its first all-electric car in India this year, the Elon Musk-run company has hired top executives in the country who took charge of some of its operations in the country.
However, the import duty tussle may delay the most coveted electric car from entering the country.
With a $39,990 (around Rs 30 lakh) price tag, Tesla Model 3 may remain as an affordable model in the US but with import duties, it would become unaffordable in the Indian market with an expected price tag of around Rs 60 lakh.
The government may consider lowering import duty along with offering other sops to Tesla but for that, the EV major would have to invest in setting up a manufacturing facility in the country.
According to industry experts, import duties on fully imported cars to India is a great concern for Musk.
Currently, India levies 100 per cent tax on the imported cars of price more than $40,000 (Rs 30 lakh) inclusive of insurance and shipping expenses, and cars less than $40,000 are subject to 60 per cent import tax.