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What we know about the Tesla models due for launch in India

Electric mobility giant Tesla Motors Inc. is all set to enter the Indian market, with four of its models having received approval for homologation by the Indian government. According to the government’s Vahan Seva website, four models or variants of Tesla were submitted for homologation and have recently received approval for the same.

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While the website does not confirm the name or variant of the car, Tesla Club India – a Twitter group actively providing updates on Tesla’s activity in India – speculated that the models are the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

The speculations come in light of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y having been spotted testing on Indian roads, heavily camouflaged, but, given the unique silhouettes carried by each Tesla, hard to be mistaken for anything else.

So what do we know about the Teslas coming to India and why do they have four models listed instead of the two that have been spotted on the road?

All Tesla cars, like pretty much every other car sold in the world, come with multiple variants, with different motor configurations and different states of tune. The Model 3, for example, has three powertrain variants sold internationally, starting with the rear-wheel-drive “Standard Plus”  variant which features a single electric motor powering the rear axle.

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It features a 50 kWh battery and has a claimed range of 421 km, as per the Environment Protection Agency testing method. In the U.S, the base Tesla is priced at roughly Rs 29.2 lakh, and given that it’s a direct import, will cost twice as much when launched in India.

In addition to that, Model 3 has two dual-motor variants – the Performance and the Long Range AWD model. Both are powered by the same 75 kWh battery but while one is tuned for outright acceleration, the other is designed for an extended range of 568km with the top-end variant priced at Rs 41.6 lakh in the US and will cost roughly Rs 82 lakh if launched in India.

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Why the Model Y?

While the Model 3 is presently the best-selling plug-in electric car in the world, India still remains an SUV market, and given that the Model X might be too pricey to be launched initially, it’s the smaller Model Y that makes more sense for the Indian market. Although buyers in that category tend to be less utility conscious, the Model Y does come with a seven-seat configuration (optional) and a dual-motor AWD setup as standard, making it a potent off-roader.

Available in two variants—the Performance and the Long Range AWD—the Model Y’s pricing is expected to start around Rs 77 lakh, given that it costs Rs 38.7 lakh in the US. Both the Model 3 and the Y form the lower-end of Tesla’s product lineup with the Model S Plaid and the upcoming Roadster, marking the top-end.

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While there has been no official communication from Tesla regarding launch dates or details about which model is being launched, Elon Musk has been vocal in his demand for greater tax rebates. While the Central government hasn’t made an official statement regarding lowering duties, a Reuters report claims that two senior government officials have told the news agency about the government considering slashing EV import duty from 60% to 40%. But only if the car’s total value is less than $40,000 including cost, insurance, and freight charges.While the likes of the Tesla Model S mark the top-end of the brand’s luxury and performance spectrum and would comply with Tesla’s top-down sales approach, it’s not going to meet the criteria mentioned here and therefore is unlikely to be one of the four variants approved for homologation. At present, only the base Model 3 meets the alleged $40,000 cut-off criteria. For the rest, Tesla is just going to have to build cars locally.

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Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model S

Tesla gets approval for four models from India’s testing agencies

It was not immediately clear which models or variants these were but multiple test cars of Tesla have been spotted regularly on Indian roads. Model 3 and Model Y have been seen testing in India since the past several weeks.

Electric vehicle giant Tesla has cleared the homologation stage for all the four models/variants it had sought approval for in India paving the way for their launch.

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As per information shared by the Centre-controlled Vahan Sewa, Tesla India Motors and Energy, the India subsidiary of Tesla Inc. has received approvals for all four of its vehicle variants. Homologation is a process that certifies a particular vehicle is roadworthy after meeting all the specified criteria.

It was not immediately clear which models or variants these were but multiple test cars of Tesla have been spotted regularly on Indian roads. Model 3 and Model Y have been seen testing in India since the past several weeks.

Tesla gets approval for four models from India

Tesla gets approval for four models from India’s testing agencies.

The approval, however, does not mean an immediate launch. Tesla, which has sought lowering of import duties from the Indian government, is yet to finalise its launch plans. The company is hoping to have a cheaper price tag on its cars which is otherwise not possible due to the steep import duties.

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Import duty on EVs in India is 100 percent if CIF (cost insurance and freight) value is more than $40,000 and 60 percent if CIF value is less than $40,000.

The Model Y and Model 3 of Tesla are priced in the range of $38,700 to $41,200. Both models made up 90 percent of Tesla’s volumes in 2020. The balance share of 10 percent came from Model S and Model X which are priced in the range of $81,200 and $91,200.In 2018 the government relaxed norms, permitting manufacturers to import and sell 2,500 vehicles per year without the need for homologation in India. A compliance certificate from the country of origin would suffice.

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Tesla Model 3

Tesla Finally Coming To India In 2021. Here’s What You Need To Know

Official: Tesla Finally Coming To India In 2021. Here’s What You Need To Know About Its Debut Model

Expect the entry-level model with over 420km per charge, price to start from around Rs 60 lakh.

Tesla Finally Coming To India In 2021

In just about a decade Tesla has risen to become the biggest name in the EV business today. With eco-friendly family cars that can outpace sportscars and even some supercars, Teslas appeal to both enthusiasts and the environmentally conscious. The Indian market has been waiting a long time for the brand to offer its models here as well. Well, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Minister of MSMEs Nitin Gadkari recently announced that Tesla will start operations in India in early 2021.

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An earlier tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk in October had hinted at this development as well. The US-based carmaker focuses almost exclusively on electrified mobility solutions with a range of premium and luxury models that offer a blend of range and performance. Of the four models currently in production, Tesla is likely to enter the market with its first “mass market” offering, the Model 3

Tesla Finally Coming To India In 2021

Model 3 Range and Specs

Since its production-spec debut in 2017, the Tesla Model 3 sedan has been the most successful product for the company. It is offered in three variants: Standard Range Plus, Long Range and Performance. The entry version uses a single motor to drive the rear wheels and offers a claimed range of over 420km with a 0-96kmph time of 5.6 seconds. The Long Range model features a bigger battery pack and also has two motors, one at each axle for AWD. It promises to deliver a range of over 560km while the 0-96kmph time drops down to 4.2 second. The top-spec Performance model has the same battery and motor as the Long Range version but is calibrated for even faster acceleration (nought to 96kmph in 3.1 seconds) which brings the claimed range down to just over 500km. Only the Standard and Long Range variants are expected to be offered in India initially.

Tesla Model 3 Features

Model 3 Features

Tesla continues to improve on the model each year while also offering over-the-air updates for the car’s software to existing owners. A key aspect of the interior of a Tesla is the large central display on the dashboard which acts as the entire control panel for the car. The Model 3 has a 15-inch touchscreen unit (like a laptop screen) with split-screen viewing to access various controls, connected services, and driver’s information. There isn’t a conventional instrument cluster on its dashboard.

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As a premium offering, even the base-spec Tesla Model 3 comes with comforts like a panoramic glass roof, power-adjustable and heated front seats and premium upholstery. Most of the fun features of a Tesla are packed into its onboard software such as the autonomous driving tech but that is unlikely to be offered in its full capacity in India anytime soon.

Tesla Model 3 Finally Coming To India In 2021

Model 3 Expected Prices

The US pricing currently, before government incentives and savings, stands between Rs 27.87 lakh (US$ 37,990) and Rs 40.34 lakh (US$ 54,990). It will be launched in India as a CBU import and prices are expected to start from Rs 60 lakh (ex-showroom) but as an EV, it is sure to attract certain government-backed benefits as well. Tesla is likely to look into setting up local assembly and/or manufacturing in India later on, along with other products and models like the Model 3’s SUV equivalent, the Model Y

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Tesla Model 3

How to tell if you have the 2021 Tesla Model 3

Earlier this month, rumors were plenty about an update to the model 3 that included very nice new features. Some are taken from the model Y others are “just” part of the constant tweaking an innovation that Tesla is known for.

Tesla Model 3 2021 Changes

Not all of these are confirmed, but so far, this is the list of changes people have observed.

  1. No more piano-black center console. It’s now changed to a matte finish that gives it a more high end look. It also looks like the center isn’t flipping out anymore and the sides are covered in leather finish.
  2. Updated steering wheel.
  3. Updated headlights
  4. Updated tail lights.
  5. The chrome frames are gone. I guess Elon saw all the chrome delete work being done and decided to get rid of it, but more likely, it’s for environmental and cost issues.
  6. Double layered glass on the windows and windshield, should reduce noise in the cabin.
  7. The frunk has decreased in size to make room for the heat pump, that was previously only available for the Tesla Model Y.
  8. USB ports in the glove compartment for safe storage of the sentry cam recordings.
  9. New standard aluminium rims, that are supposedly more aerodynamic.
  10. Power lift trunk. Yay!

So how do you actually see if your Tesla Model 3 is the 2021 model or not?

It’s quite simple, the VIN number has a letter as the 10th digit and if it’s an L, it’s the 2020 model. If the letter is M, it’s the 2021 model.

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Can a 65″ TV fit in the Tesla Model 3 Trunk?

So the other day my wife asked me: “What size TV can you fit in that trunk of the car you ordered?”. It’s not like we need a new TV, but I do recall that when we bough the last TV a 65″ LG tv, it could just fit in the Volvo V60 with the seats down.

So I googled it, turns out I was not the only person that asked this question. Turns out that it can!

Tesla Model 3 Trunk Dimensions

Width : 37 inches – 94 cm
Length : 42 inches – 107 cm
Height : 18 inches – 46 cm

Those are with the seats down and you need that to fit that 65″ TV there. Turns out that you can!

Courtesy of user Jedi2155 of TeslaMotorsClub

There you have, a nice snug fit as described. Doesn’t damage anything and now there is no reason not to go get that new 65″ TV for Black Friday!

Can a 65″ TV fit in a Tesla Model S?

Sure can, look at this! It’s almost like they were made for it.

Image courtesy of user kaidou of TeslaMotorsClub

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Tesla Model 3

How does ordering a Tesla work?

Let us try and see if I can walk you through the process that I have been through until now. Because Tesla is not like your regular car dealer, where you go to try out cars and get to take one home the same day.

Tesla has showrooms, where you might be able to see a car – but not always, because they might not be in. So you need to book a test drive with them.

A few days before the test drive they will call you to confirm your attendance. You usually get 45 mins from arrival until you have to hand in the car key (or in the case of Tesla the Model 3, your car card) – it might sound like a lot of time for a test drive, at least for me it did – but it’s not. Fortunately, you can book more than one test drive 😉

For me one was enough, I was sold. or at least, hooked, because I still had to justify spending more than I was actually prepared – see in my country, a Tesla Model 3 will cost you around $60.000 including VAT and Tax.

Even at that price, it’s worth it, because of 3 things:

  1. It’s a Tesla and I’m already a shareholder.
  2. The gasoline savings alone for me, is around $250 a month
  3. Much less maintenance than a regular ICE car.

If you want an example of the numbers for a current owner, check out this YouTube video.

How much does it really cost to own a Tesla Model 3

I did so much number crunching it was crazy, about an hour a day for two weeks. Sure I could get by with a regular car and the math would say that I could save around $200 a month doing so, but I felt like I needed to be part of it. I felt like I need to support the goal of a cleaner world. And the joy of driving a Tesla Model 3 would not leave me.

So I contacted someone I knew that owned a Tesla, he was in the US and owned a Model S. But he had a referral code and I wanted those 1500 Km. of free super charging and wanted him to get 1000 miles of free super charging as well.

Placing the order for a new Tesla

I placed the order, using his referral link… of course! But I am getting ahead of myself. Because first you need to configure your Tesla, at this point, you will have played with the configuration already – if you haven’t at this time, go do it!

Once you have your car configured, ordering it is fairly straightforward. Choose how you want to pay and go for it. For most people, you pay a small reservation advance of around $200. If you cancel before you get the card, you do not get the money back – the amount is subtracted from your final payment, so it’s not a fee. It’s just to make sure tons of people don’t place orders, they don’t intend to fulfill.

The tesla hedgehog giving the OK sign after you order your tesla

After this, you need to add some information about yourself, how you plan to pay, what your insurance company is and where you want to pick it up.

Delivery times after order

After this the waiting starts. For me it, I got a call from Tesla 9 days after the order, they wanted to confirm everything. I asked them when delivery would be and they said late November early December. I placed the order on September 30.

Why so late? Well, first off all. In Denmark most cars get taxed at around 160% + 25% VAT of the total amount. Yea it’s crazy.

But Electric Vehicles are exempt if they are below a certain price range…. at least until January 2021. So a lot of people are ordering Teslas these days, since they are classified as a “luxury EV” and the price will go up.

Also it is my understanding that the first six weeks of every quarter, the Tesla Freemont Factory produces the European models, then swap over to produce the American models. So if you are in Europe and happen to order a combination of a car, that isn’t already en-route, you need to wait at least the time it takes the cars to get loaded on a big boat, sailed across the Atlantic, offloaded in Europe and then driven via train or lorry to your country. That could be anything from 6-12 weeks.

So I shall lean back, try to be patient and keep researching my new car. Never have I been this excited to get a car… and I’m not even a person usually interested in cars…

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Tesla Model 3

So I ordered a Tesla Model 3 SR+ in all black

Now the wait begins… I actually ordered it 8 days ago. I’m in Denmark (northern Europe, the old viking lands) and I’m building this website to make time go faster and to document my research.

Right now the powers that by, are deciding what to do about the “green energy initiative” and one of the things they want to do, is tax cars above a certain price threshold. That basically includes all Teslas.

So before that happens, I decided to blow my car budget and purchase a model 3.

I’ve owned all sorts of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars and since I am swapping my current position out and have to drive 170 KM to work every shift (that’s twice a week in average I do 24 hour shifts as a fire fighter), I decided I needed something that would be a comfortable silent ride so I could arrive at work ready to go.

My current company car I have to give up. Before that, I had a Volvo V60. A very nice, safe car and comfortable too. But I sold when I was offered a company car and now that’s going away, the wife’s Renault Twingo is all that’s left…. and while that’s a great small city car, it’s not a car to ride 170 KM in at 5 AM in the morning.

So I did the math and between driving in the Twingo and driving in the Tesla Model 3 SR+, there is a price tag difference of $250.

My calculations might not apply to you, gasoline is super expensive here so the bulk savings are from that, but service savings are huge as well. Tesla’s just require less service than ICE cars. In fact, any true EV (electric vehicle) will do that, but right now, in my book, no other EV comes close to the Tesla Model 3. Also I need an EV with a towbar.

If you want to learn more about the cost of owning a Tesla Model 3, check out this video that I enjoyed (it’s not mine)

So I plan to expand this website, as I wait for my car to arrive. I’ll include a section with tips and tricks, good links and so on. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.