Tesla to enter India; survival in question

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Source: https://www.energybite.co.in/blog-post/tesla-to-enter-india-survival-in-question/

Tesla CEO’s tweet announcing the American giant’s planned entry into India next year may have generated a huge buzz but there are serious doubts about its survival in the Indian market. With highly inadequate charging infrastructure and Indian consumer’s propensity to be budget-conscious, the company is set to face major challenges.

Tesla, the American EV and energy giant is coming to India. If one takes its CEO Elon Musk’s tweet at its face value, the California-based company is all set to enter the Indian market in 2021. The news not only set ablaze a Twitter trend but also initiated a long-run debate on whether Tesla would be able to survive in the Indian EV market. Coming from countries where EV infrastructure is on full swing, to India where at present merely 500 EV charging stations remain functional, can be quite a setback for Tesla.

Many global auto manufacturers have come and gone from India. Quite recently, the motorcycle legend Harley Davidson had to exit the Indian market due to the low response rate of Indians. Harley luxury bikes didn’t fit the Indian roads where narrow roads and a lot many potholes rule throughout. The Indian masses remain inclined towards vehicles that would be value-for-money to them. EVs promise a healthier environment and almost negligent running cost but the challenging infrastructure environment discourages most Indians to invest in these cleaner cars.

  • Coming from countries where EV infrastructure is on full swing, to  India where at present 500 EV charging stations remain functional, can be quite a setback for Tesla.
  • EVs promise a healthier environment and almost negligent running cost but the challenging infrastructure environment discourages most Indians to invest in these cleaner cars.
  • Tesla and other EV companies will have to work together with the Government to build a decent infrastructure for the electric vehicle revolution to take shape in India.

Entering the Indian market, Tesla needs to pay attention to the lack of infrastructure as its main competitor. The next come its highly-priced vehicles which might turn out to be unattractive to the budget-constrained Indian consumer. Tesla might also consider building a production facility in India as it will bring down the cost of its vehicles considerably. Considering the huge size and potential of the Indian auto market, this investment should not be a problem for a company like Tesla.

Although the Government has been planning to strengthen the EV infrastructure in the country majorly, the results have not been encouraging so far. Contrarily, China boasts of more than five lakh electric charging stations. Tesla and other EV companies will have to work together with the Government to build a decent infrastructure for the electric vehicle revolution to take shape in India.

No matter how technically superior your vehicle may be, Indians are not going to buy your product if it’s impractical for them. Therefore, as of now Tesla’s entry will not bring any sudden change but will definitely shine the spotlight on the EV sector. India, undoubtedly, remains a hotspot for international brands. What it has in store for Tesla? Only time will tell!