Teslas in India

Last month, I gave an update on the Electric Vehicles (EVs) available in India and ended the article saying Tesla will most likely not come to India anytime soon…guess what? I was wrong, wrong and more wrong.

2 weeks after I published my blog post, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, said on Twitter that they were definitely coming to India not in January 2021 but sometime in 2021. Wow, that was great to hear.

Tesla’s entry into India will be via the CBU (Completely Built-Up) route, where the cars are manufactured overseas and then imported into India. Manufacturing them in India, will take time till they can sell over 20,000 units a year…this is just a guesstimate.

Arun Bhat the co-founder of the Tesla Club India, gave an estimate of the cost of the cheapest Tesla available in the US and how much it might cost in India.

If the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range (SR) Plus does come to India at around Rs. 50 lakhs I think they will eat into the sales of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. Yes, these 3 are internal combustion engines (ICE) and no comparison to a Tesla, but that segment of people will veer towards the environmentally friendly Tesla.

Teslas In India

Of course, some people could not wait for Tesla to officially enter the country and have already imported the vehicles on their own. I estimate there are 10-15 vehicles already here in India. Below is a list of several cars on the ground, many don’t have the green number plates which is something that was introduced in late 2018 to denote it’s an electric vehicle. The list is sorted by when the vehicles were registered.

First Tesla

The very first Tesla to be imported into India was by the Ruia family which runs the Essar Group of companies. The Essar Group is based in Bombay and is a global conglomerate with many business including petroleum refining. They imported the Tesla Model X 90D back in December 2017. The Model X 90D has since been replaced by the 100D.

I spotted the Ruia’s Tesla Model X 90D on one of my morning jogs on Pedder Road

This Tesla Model X was imported in October 2018. Sanjay Chhabria of Radius Developer owns it. Radius Developers has built several iconic properties in BKC like The Capital and One BKC.

Sanjay Chhabria’s Tesla Model X

Next up is another Tesla Model X that was imported in October 2018, this one sports the green colored number plates.

Below is the only Tesla Model X 100D I know that is registered in Delhi. This was imported in October 2018 as well, man there must have been some bulk deal pricing going on in October 2018!

First Tesla Model S 100D

The first and only Tesla Model S 100D was imported in April 2019 by the Mukesh Ambani family. This is the fastest Tesla available and can do 0-60 MPH in under 2.3 seconds…bonkers. Ironic that Reliance Industries which owns the single largest petroleum refinery in the world also has an electric car.

Photo Credit – Nirmeet Patil

I came across this white Tesla Model X 100 about 2 months ago on Pedder Road. The guy driving had the full PPE kit on. This vehicle was registered in September 2019 and is still registered with the car dealer who imported it.

Last but not least, is this deep blue metallic colored Tesla Model X that has green number plates but no one seems to know anything about this vehicle. If you have any information on this car or other Teslas please get in touch with me at mrjain (at) gmail.com.

That’s a wrap. I hope a year from now, there will be so many Tesla’s running around that I will not be able to keep track of them all.

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