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The CEO of Mercedes-Benz India has extended a welcoming invitation to Tesla owners, affirming that Tesla vehicles are indeed permitted to utilize their electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities across India.

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Mercedes-Benz, a top luxury car seller in India and a global competitor to Tesla, has expressed openness to the increasing electric vehicle (EV) market, welcoming new players like Tesla into the country. Santosh Iyer, the MD & CEO of Mercedes in India, assured that their EV charging stations will be accessible to Tesla vehicles, just as they are to EVs from any other brand. With 116 charging stations spread across 36 locations, Mercedes-Benz is already making strides in the EV space, selling electric vehicles through its dealerships.

Despite Tesla’s impending entry into the Indian market, Mercedes-Benz remains unfazed, citing the disparity in price points between their offerings and those of Tesla. Iyer emphasized that the arrival of new players like Tesla will expand the electric vehicle market rather than pose a threat to existing brands. Mercedes-Benz aims to strengthen its green lineup by introducing three new electric models this year, anticipating a significant increase in the share of EVs in its sales, projected to reach 25% or more by 2030.

In the first quarter of 2024, EVs accounted for 6% of Mercedes-Benz’s sales in India, a figure expected to rise substantially with the introduction of new electric models. Iyer highlighted the robust growth of their EV portfolio, which experienced a 130% year-on-year increase, driven by strong demand for models like the EQE SUV, EQB SUV, and EQS luxury sedan. Looking ahead, Mercedes-Benz plans to expand its green portfolio by launching three additional electric models by the end of the year.

Regarding the new EV policy offering benefits to companies making significant investments in green initiatives, Mercedes-Benz will wait for further details before deciding whether to apply for these benefits. The company has already invested Rs 3,000 crore in India and operates a factory outside Pune with a peak production capacity of 20,000 cars annually.

Meanwhile, Tesla is devising an aggressive investment plan for India, potentially investing $2-3 billion in the country to establish a plant with a 5-lakh annual capacity, including exports. While Tesla plans to initially import cars, it aims to commence manufacturing within the next two years. Despite Tesla’s plans, Mercedes-Benz remains committed to its petrol-diesel portfolio while simultaneously expanding its offerings in both traditional and electric vehicle segments.

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