After Tesla, Hyundai bats for import duty cut on EVs; Ola disagrees

“We have heard that Tesla is seeking some duty cut on imports of CBUs (completely built units)...

Published: 28th July 2021 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2021 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that import duties for EVs (electric vehicles) in India are the highest in the world and that he hopes for a temporary relief from the government, Korean carmaker Hyundai said that a rate cut would help automakers generate volumes and reach some viable scale. 

“We have heard that Tesla is seeking some duty cut on imports of CBUs (completely built units)...Till the time companies are able to localise EV components and other infrastructure, EV imports could help generate some market in the country,” said Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO SS Kim, while inaugurating the company’s new corporate headquarters in Gurugram. 

Hyundai at present sells its Kona Electric SUV (priced Rs 24 lakh) in the country and is working to locally develop an affordable EV. Kona, like many other electric 4Ws, doesn’t enjoy incentive under India’s Fame 2 scheme and their prices here are significantly higher than other global markets. Cars, including EVs, imported as CBUs attract customs duty between 60 to 100%. 

Kim said that India is ready for e-2wheelers and e-3wheelers but it will take time for e-4Ws to gain foothold. “We need some more support from the government in terms of tax and some incentives. From our experience in various global markets, such as South Korea, China and some European countries, we know that in India there still remains the anxiety related to charging infrastructure and the pricing of EVs,” he said.

Hyundai’s and Tesla’s demand to reduce import duties was criticised by Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal. The entrepreneur said that he strongly disagrees with both the companies. “Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import. We won’t be the first country to do so,” tweeted Aggarwal. 


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