tech2 News StaffFeb 09, 2017 12:18:57 IST
In a response to a question by a fan of Tesla Motors in India, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla would be introducing its electric vehicles to the country some time in the Summer of 2017. In April last year, at the time of the unveiling of the Model 3, Elon Musk had indicated that the pre-orders for the new semi-autonomous electric vehicle would be available in new markets for the company including India, Brazil, South Africa, Singapore and Ireland.
The Tesla Motors home page still does not show India, and a listing is expected to go up before the vehicle enters production, some time in 2017. In India, the vehicle is expected to be a electric vehicle, with the road conditions not suitable for semi-autonomous capabilities of Tesla vehicles. In an interview with CNBC TV 18, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that India would be the last place to get driverless cars, a sentiment echoed by Sunder Pichai during his interactions with students during his recent India visit.
Fully autonomous cars require precise information about roads, gradients, and elevations. Considering the ship-shod and haphazard roads in India, and the ever changing road conditions including surprise potholes and speedbreakers that show up overnight, it would be challenging to make autonomous vehicles for India. However, bits and pieces of automation could be coming to vehicles, such as automated parking and headlamps that dim on their own.
Musk had previously indicated that the vehicles would be available in India before the production for Model 3 started, and now the tentative launch date has been resolved in a little more detail. The previous stipulated deadline is likely to be missed as the cars are expected to go in production by July. Tesla factories in the US are gearing up for a test run of Model 3 production, as early as February 20.
There are still some questions to be answered though, especially one of how the cars will be charged. Tesla has deployed a network of superchargers across the United States, that allow users to charge up their vehicles on most commonly used roads. The superchargers are strategically placed along highways and congested city centers. The chargers have been free to use, but Tesla plans to introduce fees for supercharger stations around the world as well as charge idling fees, for vehicles left connected to superchargers. It is unclear if superchargers will be coming to India.
A Tesla Model 3 costs about $35,000 (Roughly Rs 23,51,300) in the United States. At that price point, Tesla vehicles are not likely to be considered as "cheap" in India.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.