Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said
on Tuesday that he “strongly disagreed” with the views of Tesla and Hyundai on lower import duties for electric vehicles in India. He said
India should have confidence in its ability to build electric vehicles indigenously while also attracting global manufacturers.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India, had tweeted: “Hyundai MD S S Kim backs Tesla’s call for lower duties in India on imported EVs. Says ‘lower duties will help grow the EV market’.”
Strongly disagree with both. Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEM… https://t.co/vHe9Nzn5e8
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash)
on Tuesday, citing a senior government official, that the government is open to considering lower import duty and other incentives for Tesla if the company decides to manufacture its cars in India.
Last week, Elon Musk had said
that although he was interested in selling Teslas in India, the country’s import duties were “the highest in the world by far of any large nation”. He added, “Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India.”
But Aggarwal said that he disagreed with both Musk and Kim. He wrote, “Strongly disagree with both. 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.”
Ola is manufacturing electric scooters at its plant in Tamil Nadu, which it claims is the world’s largest factory for electric scooters, and opened bookings earlier this month. It has signed a $100-million, 10-year debt financing agreement with
Bank of Baroda
to fund the first phase of its two-wheeler factory, and plans to export its bikes to Europe and Australia.
The company also plans to set up a network of chargers for its two-wheelers, called the Ola Hypercharger Network, and says it will eventually include 5,000 charging points in 100 cities.