American electric car maker Tesla is going to bring its most affordable car to India. Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk in a tweet on Thursday said the company has added more countries to the pre-order page for Tesla Model 3. The list of countries includes India, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, and Ireland. At a star-studded event that is normally reserved for Apple product unveilings, Tesla Motors CEO and real-life Tony Stark incarnate Elon Musk has just taken the wraps off the wildly-anticipated Model 3 electric car. Unarguably Tesla’s most important product in its short yet distinguished history, the Model 3 is the culmination of what Tesla set out to achieve in the first place: an affordable electric car for the masses. The Roadster, the Model X, and the Model S, all are just precursors to this, the ultimate aim, the Model 3.
Sure enough, the Model 3 pre-order page lets you book a Tesla by paying a $1,000 (roughly INR 66,000) fee. You’ll need a credit card to make the payment, but the fee is refundable in case you choose to cancel later. The form also lets you sign up for test driving a Model S – the company’s premium sedan. Talking about the network of chargers to power Tesla’s electric cars, Musk tweeted that the car would come with an India-wide supercharger network. Superchargers can charge Tesla cars from 0 to 100 percent in roughly 75 minutes and are currently offered free of cost to those who own Tesla cars. It’s unclear whether the network will be free for Model 3 owners in India.
Tesla had at an event on Thursday in California announced that the Model 3 will be available in 2017 with a starting price of $35,000 (roughly INR 25 lakhs). The company manufactures its cars in the US, which means that the price of a Tesla Model 3 will be much higher in India as it will have to be imported. Duties on imported cars are north of 125 percent in India. The company announced that it plans to expand the number of Tesla stores across the world from 215 to 441. This means that we could see the opening of a Tesla store in India, if the company intends to ship cars to India.
Tesla founder Elon Musk said the car will be able to cover at least 215 miles (350 km) on a single charge and that the car will offer Tesla’s autopilot feature, and the base version will sprint from 0-96 kmph in under 6 seconds. The car isn’t expected to be available until late in 2017, but that hasn’t stopped people from pre-ordering it. Musk said the car already has 115,000 pre-orders. Quite a few Tesla fans in the US had camped overnight to pre-order the Model 3. You might recall that Indian PM Narendra Modi visited Silicon Valley and met with Elon Musk, among many other tech luminaries, last year. There’s a distinct possibility that this meeting could have resulted in Tesla’s decision to enter the Indian market with the Model 3.
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