Since Elon’s & Minister Nitin Gadkari’s confirmation that Tesla will be here this year, we are seeing some assumptions on India/Indian market from Tesla Sphere & in general also. We would like to say with humility that most are operating with false notions of India. It’s not easy to understand India. Its very complex and we Indians ourselves do not fully understand it. Many think of it as a 3rd World Country with no proper homes, roads & infra. We can’t say that we blame you totally. Hollywood & Western Media portray it that way. Most only showing the bad side.
We are not saying that there is nothing lacking here. There is some bad, but there’s good also. India is so huge & diverse that you can’t generalise anything over the whole country.
Now let’s take some of the common arguments we hear & see; & counter them.
1. India doesn’t have electricity & it’s dirty
# We have electricity. Yes there are issues in some places to have continuous supply. But most cities have good power and that's where most EVs will be sold. This issue will be solved in just a few years by the time EV penetration increases.
The above graph shows that the deficit of electricity is decreasing year on year.
Let’s take a look at mix of electricity generation
“Few experts ever expected India to be on track to significantly exceed two key commitments to the Paris Agreement. One is India’s pledge to increase the share of power-generation capacity that doesn’t use fossil fuels to 40 percent by 2030; today, generation capacity from renewable, hydroelectric, and nuclear sources already reaches 38 percent, putting India on track to comfortably exceed its target. The other commitment is to reduce carbon emissions by 33 to 35 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030. Today, India looks likely to reduce emissions by as much as 45 percent by 2030, far surpassing its Paris target.”
“India made green history this year, breaking not one but two records. In January, it conducted the world’s largest tender for renewable power that no longer requires fossil-fuel backup. One company, Greenko, will provide 900 megawatts of uninterrupted, unsubsidized power using a combination of solar panels and hydroelectric storage. Another, ReNew, will supply 300 MW of steady power using solar panels and battery storage. In May, ReNew made another successful bid to provide 400 MW of solar power with battery storage. At a levelized first-year cost of 2.90 rupees ($0.04) per kilowatt-hour, it will be among the world’s lowest rate for uninterrupted renewable power—finally making generating and storing clean energy cheaper than burning coal.”
Prime minister laid the foundation of India’s largest hybrid renewable energy park having 30 gigawatt (GW) capacity at Vighakot village in the district of Kutch in Gujarat. He said power produced from it would curb five crore tonne of carbon dioxide emissions every year, which is equal to planting nine crore trees.
The park will have a hybrid park zone for wind and solar energy storage, as well as an exclusive zone for wind park activities.
India’s solar power capacity has increased 16 per cent in the past six years, added PM Modi in his address.
Initially, the plan was to build a solar park of capacity 2,000 MW spanning over 13,000 acres of land. Later, an additional capacity of 50 MW was added.
The final 200 MW capacity developed by SB Energy (SoftBank) has now been commissioned, getting the world’s biggest solar park up and running.
The solar electricity price in India has dipped further to an all-time low of INR 1.99/kWh($0.027/kwh) in a 500 MW Gujarat auction held recently, which is 0.5% lower than the previous record of INR 2/kWh set a month ago.
We think that this is enough to illustrate that Renewables & Overall Electricity generation is increasing in India.
And by the way not pointing fingers but these are the facts as shown in the graph below
2. Tesla won’t be able to sell cars in India + people won’t buy EVs in India.
# This is addressed in detail in a separate blog here by Arun. Do take a look
You can also watch our conversation with Tesla Raj here
3. It's just Rickshaws
# Most of those people think that entire India travels on 3W rickshaw and most don't drives cars. Hence we see many suggest Tesla should do cyber-rickshaw. What they don't know is that 3Ws are used for commercial cargo purposes and last mile connectivity. India already has various economical EV 3w which cost $3-5000 (and there rests the case that arcimoto would be perfect in India). The density of these EV 3w in every city, even smaller ones are rising. So we don't think that Tesla should be into 3w. What Tesla can do via India R&D center is to develop a platform for Bus, Trucks for Indian needs, based on US Tesla Semi, as public bus usage is very high in India.
4. No charging infra
# Yes we do not have a nation wide charging infra. Major cities have decent charging network now thanks to EESL, local utilities and private players like Tata Power & Zeon Charging.
Govt recently put out a tender for infra on major highways. It's happening.
And well those buying Tesla will obviously be able to do home charging. Things are improving, most just don't know yet. Also as everywhere else before Tesla we don't remember a vast charging infrastructure existing. So there's that.
We wish people will do their research before commenting & making videos here & there. There’s no shortage of videos on YT explaining why Tesla isn’t in India yet, and they are mostly wrong too.
Future of India is bright and we would love Tesla to be a part of it!
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