Tesla fans in India have been hoping the automaker would officially bring its electric vehicles (EVs) to their country for years. Those hopes have been high in recent months as Tesla has taken several steps in 2021 to do just that.
One of those steps has been to petition the government to lower its import taxes on EVs, which CEO Elon Musk has said are by far the highest in the world.
To try and entice the government to agree to even a temporary relief on import taxes, Musk said his company would likely build a factory in the country after first selling imported vehicles.
According to Krishan Pal Gurjar of India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries, Musk’s pleas were not enough and no reduction is being considered by the government.
“No such proposal is under consideration in Ministry of Heavy Industries,” he said (via Bloomberg).
The denial likely comes at the direction of Prime Minster Narendra Modi, who has pushed his administration to boost local manufacturing.
Despite the announcement, the minister said the government does want to increase EV adoption in India, which currently sits at less than 1% of annual car sales. Steps will be taken to lower domestic taxes on EVs and charging stations will also be added throughout the country.