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In an indication of its imminent entry in the Indian market, American electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla Inc, has received approval for four of its vehicle variants from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Automobile manufacturers have to mandatorily get their vehicles certified from the local authorities before they officially launch them.

Last year, Tesla announced its intention of entering the Indian market by forming its wholly owned subsidiary known as Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Ltd. The California based company has also started hiring senior executives to set up the ground work before a possible launch in the coming months.

According to Vahan portal of Morth, four vehicles of Tesla have been approved but it did not specify the models which have been approved.

“Tesla has completed homologation and received approval for 4 of its vehicle variants in India. While we don’t have any conformation on names as yet, these are probably Model 3 and Model 4 variants," said a twitter handle named Tesla Fan Club.

The approval does not necessarily mean a possible launch of Tesla’s in India in the coming months. The Elon Musk led company has been asking for a reduction in import duty on electric vehicles and related components from the Indian government as it is initially expected to import its vehicles in fully built form.  

Tesla Inc. co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk last year said that the California-based electric vehicle company will enter the Indian market in 2021. “Next year for sure," Musk said while replying to a query on Tesla’s India plans on Twitter. Earlier, he also said that high income tax on imported electric vehicles in India is hindering Tesla’s plan to launch its products in India.

India levies as high as 100% import duty on completely built unit of electric vehicles and multinational companies like Tesla and Hyundai have been urging the union government to considering reducing the import duty to create a thriving market for electric vehicles.

Premium or Luxury vehicle manufacturers like Mercedes Benz and Audi have already launched their respective electric vehicles in India.

India has been encouraging local development and manufacturing of electric vehicles to reduce pollution in its cities and reduce dependence on crude oil imports. As result, the union government has also devised a production linked incentive scheme for advanced chemistry cell batteries to bring down the cost of electric vehicle and develop India as a hub for such new technology products.

The Indian government also extended the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicle (FAME) scheme by two years to March 31, 2024, to push sales of electric vehicles. 

Department of Heavy Industries also announced a 50% increase in incentives for electric two-wheelers to 15,000 per kilowatt hour from 10,000 per kWh. According to the new rules, the cap on incentives will be limited to 40% of the total price compared to the earlier cap of 20%. The ministry of heavy industries has also mandated Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) to procure 300,000 electric three-wheelers for use by different authorities.

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