Mercedes Benz Managing Director for India Roland Folger has asked the Indian government to offer incentives on the import of electric cars till it becomes possible to manufacture them in India, The Economic Times reported on Monday.
Folger’s request is an effort to capitalise on the Centre’s plan to curb the use of fossil fuels by replacing nearly half the country’s motor vehicles with electric ones by 2030. Folger said it would be great to bring electric vehicles to India as it mirrors Mercedes’ overall strategy.
However, he added, it is a catch-22 situation for the industry. “You need to reach a certain minimum amount of vehicles that you can sell consistently, and sustainability to make it worthwhile to invest in a factory,” he said. Thus, a period of offering incentives to electric-car imports would help build a customer database, he addd.
Earlier in June, Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had said he is in talks with the Indian government to temporarily reduce the restrictions placed on importing electric cars, at least till a local factory is built.