First cases of ☰ fever hit India

Electric rickshaw TeslaMondo

Born to be negligibly wild. India is going greenish.

And the victims are heavy-hitters with massive circles of influence. Copied and pasted from this article.

“The Model 3 has a potential to dramatically shift the market perspective on electric cars from niche to mainstream,” said Chetan Maini, who founded Reva Electric Car Company, India’s first electric carmaker, which was acquired by the Mahindra Group. “Though mainstream for the US, (it) is borderline luxury in India. Here, I think a lot of luxury customers will look at Tesla as an option in the future,” said Maini.

The cheapest Tesla yet, starts at $35,000, import duties as they stand now will make it much more expensive

Maini has put in an order for the car with a down payment of the equivalent of $1,000. Reports said Tesla secured about 135,000 reservations during the first day of ordering for the Model 3.

Several well-heeled Indians have already gushed admiration for Tesla and Musk and joined the waiting list for the car. Among them is Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of mobile marketplace and payments company Paytm.

“I actually have been trying to get a Tesla ever since they launched a right-hand drive model,” said Sharma, who describes himself as a Musk ‘fanboy’.

Gaming entrepreneur Vishal Gondal and Mahesh Murthy, an early-stage investor, online fashion portal Voonik’s founder Sujayath Ali and Practo founder Shashank ND were among those from the startup world who lined up for a chance to own the Model 3.

Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw got into the act, and into the spirit of April Fools’ Day, tweeting that she was “privileged” to have done the first test drive of the car on the busy Hosur Road in Bengaluru. Tarun Mehta, a cofounder of Ather Energy that builds e-scooters using Lithium-ion batteries, said Tesla’s entry will have both symbolic and practical value. “The real-world effect of Tesla’s entry is that we will see India’s large automotive component making ecosystem gearing up for supplying to electric automobiles too,” he said.

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