The South Korean automaker Hyundai has joined its American counterpart and has requested the Government of India to temporarily decrease the import tariffs on Electric vehicles in India.
Such a decision would mean that overseas EV manufacturers would be able to import their vehicles in India at a lower cost and consumers can also get that vehicle for lesser money.
Currently, India has one of the highest import duties on cars anywhere in the world which was even pointed out by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter earlier this week.
Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO SS Kim told the media, “We have heard that Tesla is seeking some duty cut on imports of CBUs. So that would be very helpful for the OEMs to reach some economy of scale in this very price competitive segment.”
He also added that till the time companies are able to localise EV components and other infrastructure, EV imports could help generate some market in the country.
These are the same requests which were put forth by Tesla in a letter they wrote to the NITI Aayog and several other ministries.
Kim also added that the government’s support is key for the EV push in India as the price of electric cars remain too high while the infrastructure still remains lacking. “The EV movement is strong in the two and three-wheeled segments but will be more gradual in the four-wheeler segment,” he said.
However, their requests have faced some resilience from India’s home companies such as Tata Motors and Ola. While Tata Motors has sought ‘equal treatment’ from the central government regarding its EV policy for Indian and foreign car-makers, OLA Electric’s CEO Bhavish Aggarwal reacted to Hyundai Motor’s take on Tesla’s recent demand and said, “Strongly disagree with both. Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import. We won’t be the first country to do so.”
OLA electric is currently gearing up to enter the Indian EV market with its electric scooter for which it has even started taking pre-order. It has also heavily invested in building the world’s largest electric two-wheeler manufacturing facility near Chennai.
As of now, the law mandates an import duty of 60% on cars with prices less than $40,000 and 100% on cars with prices more than $40,000.