Tesla imports Model Y into India for testing

As discussions continue between Tesla and the Indian government around the lowering of import taxes on electric vehicles (EVs), Tesla is forging ahead with vehicle testing in the country.

In June a Deep Blue Metallic Model 3 was spotted by Tesla fans in Pune, a city near India’s largest city of Mumbai.

Now Tesla has imported a Model Y into the country as well, although the exact location of the vehicle is unknown at this time.

The test vehicle, also finished in Deep Blue Metallic paint, was initially posted to Instagram by MotorBeam, and later shared to Twitter by the Tesla Club India.


Perhaps the most interesting aspect about this sighting is that the electric SUV is a right-hand drive (RHD) unit. This all but ends questions as to whether someone imported this vehicle for personal use, or if it is in fact a Tesla test vehicle.

So far all Model Y vehicles delivered to customers have been left-hand drive (LHD). It was only in June when Tesla announced sales of the electric SUV in Hong Kong that we learned the first RHD vehicles were being built at Giga Shanghai.

Those deliveries are only expected to begin next month.

Although the video quality is poor, it does appear to have the ‘Dual Motor’ badge on the trunk indicating this is a Long Range (LR) variant and not the Standard Range Model Y that is also being offered for sale in Hong Kong.

Tesla has been lobbying the Indian government for several months to lower their import taxes, which Elon Musk says are the highest in the world, by far. One proposal seeks the import tax rate to be reduced from 100% down to 60% for EVs over $100,000. For EVs priced below $40,000 they are seeking a reduction from 60% down to 40%.

The government appears to be considering the proposals, but first wants to see Tesla plans to do business in the country before committing to any tax cuts.

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