Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal pitches for Make in India amid Tesla's calls for duty cut

In a spat on Twitter, Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal supported indigenous manufacturing as Tesla's Elon Musk call for lower duties on imported EVs in India.

Pushing the case for Make in India, Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal today responded to Autocar India's editor Hormazd Sorabjee on Twitter.

Hormazd's tweet pointed to the pitch of SS Kim, MD of Hyundai Motor, to lower import duties on electric vehicles (EVs).

Hormazd wrote, "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”".

To this, Bhavish responded by saying, "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!"

This spat comes a day after Tesla's Elon Musk, responding to a tweet asking him to bring Tesla's electric cars to India, said that the carmaker is finding it difficult to enter the Indian market due to high import duties on EVs. He said the duties are highest among large countries in the world by far, on Twitter.

Earlier, Tesla had planned on entering India this year and pitched for lower import duties that could work in its favour as the EV market in India is still in its infancy. However, many EV automakers in India such as Ather and Ola Electric, which created a massive buzz around its upcoming scooter, will have to deal with a much bigger competitor in a market, where currently it does not have many local competitors.

With duties remaining high, it could give Indian players such as Ola Electric an advantage when it comes to launching EVs and get a bigger market share. The company recently opened bookings for the company's Electric Scooter. The electric vehicle maker also raised $100 million long-term debt from Bank of Baroda to fund Ola's Futurefactory. This wil Ola Electric's global manufacturing hub, coming up in Tamil Nadu, for its electric two-wheelers.

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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