The Tesla Model 3 will cost between $65,000 and $75,000 in India.
Tesla is preparing to launch in India, but the U.S. electric car maker is likely to remain a niche player there for years to come, serving only the rich in the world’s second most populous country.
India’s young electric vehicle (EV) market accounted for just 5,000 of the 2.4 million vehicles sold in the country last year. A lack of local production of components and batteries, little charging infrastructure and the high cost of electric cars meant there were few buyers in the price-driven market.
It’s also hard to see how Tesla’s sought-after and expensive autonomous driving features will work on India’s busy roads.
Ammar Master, a forecaster at consulting firm LMC Automotive, said he expects Tesla to sell only 50 to 100 of its Model 3 electric sedans a year in India, at least for the first five years.
“As a country, India is still not environmentally conscious enough to pay that much price for a car,” Master said.
“It all comes down to price. There will be people with high levels of equity, such as movie stars and top executives, who will look at it, assessing brand value. But in that case, how many buyers are there?”
The world’s most valuable automaker registered a local company in India earlier this month, a step toward its arrival in the country expected as early as mid-2021.
According to sources familiar with the plans, Tesla plans to import and sell the Model 3 in India for between $65,000 and $75,000, about double the price in the U.S. market.