After numerous speculations and rumors, we finally have some news about Tesla's plans for India. Nitin Gadkari - Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways - has just confirmed that Tesla will commence their operations in India from 2021. A couple of days ago, ET Auto made an exclusive report of the Tesla Model 3 making it to India by Q1 of 2021. Now the same has been confirmed by Nitin Gadkari, who stated that the company will commence operations in India by 'early 2021' . He also stated that Tesla will start by setting up their own sales network, and will eventually evaluate local assembly or manufacturing, based on the market response.
Tesla Model 3 Design
So Tesla will debut in India with the Model 3 - which is the company's most affordable model - and it will come to the country as a CBU. The Tesla Model 3 looks typically Tesla in the sense that all Tesla models have a characteristic family design. It looks like a smaller Tesla Model S or you could even say its a sedan version of the Model Y. The Tesla Model 3 has a very clean silhouette with smooth surfacing and curved edges, all for aerodynamic efficiency. Unique LED headlamps and tail lamps, strong character lines over the wheel arches and the 18-inch wheels are some of the standout elements in the design.
Tesla Model 3 Interiors and Features
It remains to be seen what all variants and configurations Tesla will offer with the Model 3 in India. In the US, the Tesla Model 3 loaded with features, the highlight being a ginormous 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system with over-the-air updates. The dashboard layout is otherwise very simplistic, just like the outside. It will also feature 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats, 14-speaker audio system, and a tinted sunroof. The other highlight is of course Tesla's AutoPilot feature and the Ludicrous mode. It however remains to be seen if Tesla will offer these features in India or not.
Tesla Model 3 Powertrain
Globally, the Tesla Model 3 is offered with three powertrain options - Standard Plus, Long Range and Performance. The Standard Plus variant uses a rear-wheel drive setup and has a claimed driving range of 423km on a single charge in the US. The Long Range and Performance variants meanwhile use a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup with 568km and 507km of range respectively. In India, Tesla could start with the Model 3 Standard Plus variant with the other two variants likely making it down sometime later.
Tesla Model 3 India Launch Timeline and Price
Tesla is however yet to reveal a specific launch timeline for the Model 3 in India. Bookings are expected to commence from January 2021 and deliveries could begin by late Q1 or early Q2 of 2021. As mentioned already, the Model 3 will come to India via the CBU route and will be quite expensive. We expect the starting price to range from about INR 55-60 lakh, ex-showroom. Tesla could however setup local assembly at a later stage and that could bring down prices but that's still a long way into the future.