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In response to a tweet asking him about a potential India launch date, Musk said his California-based company was “still working through a lot of challenges with the government”, without giving further details.

Musk had tweeted last July that Tesla wanted to enter India, home to 1.3 billion people, “but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country”.

He added that the firm was hoping for temporary tariff relief.

India imposes a 100 per cent tax on imported electric vehicles worth more than $40,000, and 60 per cent for those costing $40,000 or less.

Tesla fears the steep duties will price them out of the cost-sensitive Indian market.

New Delhi has introduced incentives for foreign carmakers to manufacture their vehicles locally but Musk has said he wants to gauge demand with imports first.

Electric cars accounted for only 1.3 per cent of all vehicles sold in the country in 2020-21, according to research by digital consultancy Techarc.

The government’s target is for 30 per cent of private cars to be electric by 2030 as part of a wider push to decarbonise the transport sector.

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