American electric automaker Tesla is likely to begin operations in India by June 2021, according to a recent report. The source suggests Tesla will begin order books for the Indian market from January 2021, while deliveries will begin from the first quarter of the 2021-22 financial year. This equates to June 2021, with the first model to be offered in India being the Model 3 sedan. The 3 is the automaker’s most affordable offering, which is followed by the Model Y crossover, Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. The line-up will be joined by the Tesla Roadster and the Cybertruck pick-up in the future.
The news emerges as Tesla has had a will it-won’t it relationship with the Indian market. Founder Elon Musk had promised several launch timelines in the past and bookings had opened by back 2016 as well. However, little has happened as far as the brand’s India presence is concerned. Meanwhile, Indian state governments have been vocal of offering lucrative land and business prospects to the world’s most valuable automobile company by market cap, to set-up operations in the country.
Tesla, has become synonymous with the electric car revolution and acceptability in the US, and already has fans in India too. Several privately imported Teslas can also be seen in the country. The brand though is not looking to set-up a factory immediately, it seems, and will bring the Model 3 as a Completely Built Unit (CBU). Prices for the Model 3 are expected to be around Rs. 55-60 lakh (ex-showroom), which makes it a rival against luxury sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and the likes.
The Tesla Model 3 gets a dual motor all-wheel drive set-up that develops about 221PS and about 409 Nm of peak torque. In the performance version, the Model 3 can sprint from 0-100kmph in 3.1 seconds, which goes up to 5.1 seconds in the Standard Plus variant. The electric sedan packs a 80.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack that offers a range of 423km on a single charge in the Standard Plus variant, which goes up to 507km on a single charge in the Performance variant. The Model 3 can be charged in just 15 minutes using the company’s fast chargers. It comes with a massive touchscreen infotainment system and a host driving technology.
It needs to be seen as to how many features and driving aids, including autonomous tech, will Tesla introduce on its India model. The brand is known to set-up its charging infrastructure as quickly as its 0-100kmph run its cars and even then, there aren’t enough charging stations in developed markets. We do hope the automaker concentrates on establishing charging stations first even if the cars come to India as CBUs initially. There are also reports of an R&D centre being set-up in Bangalore, Karnataka. Tesla though is yet to confirm any details about its India plans.