The billionaire has so far received three offers to set up shop in India

The question on every gearhead’s mind in recent years has been – “when is Tesla coming to India?.” Well, we finally seem to have an answer…sort off. A Twitter user recently asked Elon Musk, when the famed EV will make it to our shores –

And of course, this set a bevvy of responses from ministers of every state, inviting the US billionaire to set up shop in their respective states. This includes KT Rama Rao, the Industry & Commerce Minister of Telangana to Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu –

But what’s stopping Tesla from entering India?

The situation is not that complicated. The billionaire wants India to lower the import duty on Tesla cars. Something he’s been periodically tweeting about for a very long time.

Currently, for manufacturing and sales, there’s a policy framework in place, called the ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India,’ or FAME. The primary goal of this policy is to give cash incentives to EV buyers, pushing down the cost of ownership.

Along with it, there’s a programme called ‘Phased Manufacturing Programme for electric vehicles,’ due to which custom duties on automotive parts and foreign-made automobiles are raised. The aim here is simple. Keep the production in India, which would help in bringing in more local jobs.

Now based on this, companies like Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra have invested heavily in India. Tesla being granted an exemption would mean thwarting the existing policies and upsetting the biggest auto manufacturers in India.

This begs the question –

Why can’t Tesla set up shop in India?

Judging from Musk’s tweet here, it seems like Tesla wants to gauge a response from our automotive market first, before making any commitments. After all, we live in a very price-conscious country, and if the Teslas do make it to India, they would cost more than a chunk of change.

All in all, we’d still like to keep our fingers crossed.