Yes, Tesla is coming to India! and you can book one now for $1000. The electric car company’s most affordable version, the Model 3, has received around 4 lakh bookings. That’s phenomenal, considering the car will be delivered to customers after two years.
The Model 3 is a pure electric car and it will come with a starting price of $35,000. The numbers are impressive enough, a range of 346 kms per charge, 0-60 mph in under six seconds, 5 star safety, supercharger compatible and has autopilot as standard!
What’s Supercharger And Autopilot?
Superchargers are rapid charging points set up by Tesla on popular highways. A supercharger can charge a Tesla Model S to 80 percent in just 20 minutes. Tesla has covered most roads in the US and is spreading all over Europe. Superchargers are helping electric cars make long cross country drives. Some of the superchargers are powered by solar too, making them completely green. Also, Tesla is currently letting users charge their cars for free. This is also coming to India according to a tweet by Elon Musk himself.
Autopilot is something straight out of a sci-fi movie. The Tesla can automatically steer itself and change lanes using this feature which means, driverless cars are now a reality!
Can Tesla Make A Mark In India?
The Tesla Model 3 will be priced around INR 37 lakhs if it is directly imported. This price range is dominated by entry level luxury cars such as the BMW 3 series, Audi A4 and the Mercedes C Class. Here’s why the million dollar looker Tesla can make a mark in India:
1. Maintenance Costs
The Tesla being an electric car will address the most important concern of this segment – maintenance costs. The German cars have a reputation of high service costs and expensive spares. Service packs from the three companies cost around INR 20,000 to 35,000 per annum. An electric car has fewer parts. It has a motor near the wheels and a battery pack on the floor. The motor is permanently sealed and doesn’t require any fluid changes. The battery comes with a warranty of 8 years. There is no engine oil, oil filter, air filter and other parts which require periodic changes in a regular car. The running cost, electricity in case of Tesla, is much lower than petrol or diesel. Brake pads also last longer on electric cars because of regenerative braking, where the motor does the work of the brakes mostly. Plus, there are numerous reports on the German cars being unreliable on popular forums such as Team-BHP.
2. Performance And Handling
The BMW 320D (the most popular 3 series) does 0-100 kmph in 7.4 seconds. The petrol 328i does that in 6.1 seconds. The Tesla Model 3, which seats 5 adults comfortably, will have a ludicrous mode that will do the same in under 4 seconds. The Model S having lower centre of gravity and motors at the wheels, is one of the best cars to drive on the track. It is outselling the other cars in its class too. The same is expected for the Model 3 too.
3. No Fuel
Indians love lower running costs. This is why diesels (and not the environmentally safer petrol) dominate over 90 percent of the sales in this segment. Electric car means much lower per km costs, and this is something Indians are going to love. Also, with ban on diesel cars in Delhi, the Tesla will have a good demand.
We Indians love gadgets and gizmos in our cars. Touchscreens, bluetooth, parking cameras, start stop buttons, etc have been deal breakers in our country (Hyundai, take a bow). Tesla is loaded with tech. From a giant screen that controls every part of the car to wireless updates that make the car go fast, and impressive maps that show the nearest charging points, Tesla is bound to appeal to most Indians.
What Tesla Needs To Address
Apart from competitive prices, it is important that Tesla builds the supercharger network before launching the product in India. Public charging points are almost absent in the country, save for cities such as Bangalore. Also, the electricity grid in India is unreliable. Tesla needs to put up superchargers on most highways, expressways and tourist parking lots. A supercharger on the Leh-Ladakh road would be sweet 😉