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Tesla’s (Potential) Roadmap for India

Finally after years of pestering Elon(sorry, not sorry), we have been able to get some answer on Tesla India. We are excited about Tesla’s entry in India. As Elon himself stated in second reply to the club – “next year for sure”.

10 days after that, we again asked Elon to get us in touch with Tesla India team and Elon said this in response - “will release order configurator probably in Jan.” We had a hard timing believing what just happened that day.

This has got us excited(because Arun is waiting since 2016 for his 3 or maybe Y if available in India & Nikhil is just crazy).

We at Club would like to help Tesla in whatever way we can. It would be great if we can get in touch with the team working on Tesla India. Till then we thought we will put it out here.

Steps for Tesla India Entry that in our view will be best going forward for Tesla. Since Elon has stated that configurator opens around January, so we expect that deliveries will be few months after that.

Step 1 – Since the timeline is so close, initial units will most probably be Model 3 SR+ CBU import. But even that being below $40k, there’s going to be 60% import duties + 5% GST. However setting up a quick small tent for couple of years for CKD Assembly, would reduce import duty to 15-20% depending on various parts & would make it much cheaper. And very competitive.

Step 2 – Tesla should look for Solar Panels(not roof) + battery manufacturing in India.

Solar – India is among the leading nations when it comes to Solar installations due to the abundance of sunshine throughout the year, and it is only going to increase in the coming years. Solar PV systems are already economical in India(even way less than Tesla’s cheapest in US) with benchmark cost as below. So it’s tough competition here. If Tesla can deliver efficient solar panels near these prices, we are sure there would be no demand problem.

Apart from increasing residential Solar installations, large scale solar tenders are also increasing. Some of them are listed below as example

  1. 2500 MW ISTS-connected Solar PV Power Projects at UMREPP, Koppal District, Karnataka

  2. 1070 MW Grid-Connected Solar PV Power projects in Rajasthan

  3. 15MW Grid Connected Floating Solar PV Power Plant at Nangal Pond, Himachal Pradesh

  4. 7500 MW Solar Power Projects in Leh and Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir

Battery Manufacturing – We feel that 4680 LFP production is feasible in India. With some ingredients available via import & some available locally. Govt was reported to be trying to secure lithium supplies. And govt is planning $4.6 B in battery manufacturing incentives.

The locally manufactured batteries can be used in local vehicle production & energy storage(megapacks + powerwalls).

Large Scale Energy Storage is just getting started in India, with only one way to go i.e. up. Below listed are some large scale tenders. Renewable Energy tenders also get linked with Energy Storage.

  1. 04 MW Floating Solar Power Plant with 02 MW/01 MWh BESS at Kalpong Dam, Diglipur, North Andaman & Nicobar

  2. 14 MW Solar Power Plants with 42 MWh BESS (7 MW / 21 MWh each at Leh and Kargil) under PMDP

  3. Tender for 100 MW (AC) Solar PV Project (200MWp DC capacity) along with 50MW/150 MWh Battery Energy Storage System having 10 years plant O&M at Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, India

Source for Solar & BESS projects - SECI.

These were just few examples of projects along with several other Center & State wise projects.

For residential use, the Tesla’s Current Powerwall is bit too premium for India both in capacity & cost. A powerwall near 3-4kwh priced around INR1.5L might be perfect for an average Indian home, local LFP production should help make it cheaper. As of now the lead acid ones are being used by most residences.

Step 3 – Local manufacturing of vehicles. Current 3 & Y vehicles locally assembled are going to be competitive as stated above. The $25k car is what gets us most excited in long run. Since Elon revealed that two $25k vehicles will be developed(one in china & one in germany), we would like both of them to be available here. Because why not, more choices better it is. (Nikhil personally wishes that one of them to be compact SUV type like of size of Kona/ZS EV). Considering the price in INR to be 18-20L with local production, it’s going to take share from ICE selling from 13L upto higher(given that two different segment $25k vehicle, maybe one as sedan, one as compact SUV). As we have seen people will be willing to do the Tesla stretch, we think it would sell like hot cake.

S,3,X,Y should be able to capture significant size of luxury market & maybe more with help of locally assembled/produced SR+ versions. The recent price decreases with range increases make them perfect value for money.

People have complained that India doesn’t have enough market to justify a Giga(now Terra) Factory here because they are aimed at 1M production, we would like to say that a Factory doing Solar, Battery Production, Vehicle Production is going to be perfect, and export potential of $25k and base Model 3 and Y is huge.

This may be a possible way for Tesla to enter production in India. Obviously they have smart people, who probably know all this and have this figured out, we just thought we would put it out here humbly.

Now coming on to some suggestions regarding change in Tesla Vehicles -

1. WLTP Range is closest to what other EVs are able to achieve here, hence that can be used instead of EPA or NEDC. ARAI is not worth considering.

2. To maneuver around the most conditions easily, ground clearance of near 170mm on Model 3 would be perfect(and accordingly on Y).

We hope you like the T-Shirt we sent you, Elon.


Tesla Club India

Waiting since April 2016


Hey all consider checking out the club merch. All proceeds(ex cost) will go towards helping build EV Charging infra in the country.

Also thanks to Jessica Meckmann For Cover Tesla Bharat image.

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