Should you import a Tesla car in Pakistan?


Tesla Motors is an American car manufacturing company which makes electric cars. Its cars provide excellent mileage in a single charge. The performance of the car is staggering and the safety equipments are top notch. Their first model, Tesla S was released in 2012, which took the world by storm. Breaking all the stereotypes once synonymous to an electric car, their model S and model X are few of the most autonomous cars that you can buy today.

You must be wondering why Tesla has not made it to Pakistan, whereas, multiple BMW i8s have already hit the roads. To understand the situation, we have to take a look at the complete picture:

Import duty structure:

A few years back, Pakistan’s government made a surprising move by reducing import duty on hybrid cars, making them cheaper than their petrol or diesel powered counterparts. Any hybrid car with an 800cc engine or less has 0% import duty. Does that mean you should get a Tesla? First of all it’s important to know that there is no official duty structure for importing pure electric cars as of 2017. Electric cars are different from hybrid cars meaning they only have electric motor (s) to move the wheels. The absence of an internal combustion engine means they fall in 1cc category and if we apply the current duty structure, you should be able to get a Tesla at the price of a Mercedes C-Class. But it’s not all good news because clearing an electric car like Tesla will become a hassle and it would require special paperwork from concerned authorities. No one really wants to go through all that pain.

Tesla and Pakistan:

Although electric cars have huge benefits compared to their conventional counterparts, they are also very sophisticated. Tesla cars require an OTA update to stay updated and to run efficiently. Other than that their huge batteries require a 6-7 hours uninterrupted power supply to fully charge or 1 hour if you use a supercharger. Now keeping all these things in mind, we know the hostile electricity conditions in Pakistan. How would it feel if your Tesla didn’t charge overnight and you have to leave for office in the morning? Not only that, Tesla rolls out OTA updates for their cars in specific regions and the company is far away from starting a business here in Pakistan so you will be out of luck. Not updating your car means you are prone to security and safety issues. Then there is the ‘charging stations’ issue. Nobody wants to plug in a car to a socket and leave it like that for hours. Running out of charging in the middle of a commute especially when there are no charging stations, will be the last thing on your mind. At this point some readers will be pointing out “Wait, what about the charging stations opened by Dewan Motors in Lahore and Karachi?” Yes, they have. But there are only stations until now. It’s also worth noting that they are intended for BMW cars so the chances of their compatibility with a Tesla are slim. These are some other technicalities attached to a Tesla or any other electric car in Pakistan. Not to mention there is an absence of mechanics for hybrid cars let alone an electric one. If you have no problem with any of the above limitations then go ahead buy one but all these points make it very clear that no matter how good Tesla cars are, importing one in Pakistan will not be a right move even if you get it cleared. At least for now.

When to buy a Tesla:

We truly admire the efficiency of Tesla cars but as you have a clear picture of the whole situation it is also worth noting that Tesla is currently working on a smaller and cheaper Tesla 3, which is targeted on a global scale after its official release later this year. Other Tesla cars weren’t really meant to sell in huge numbers. Maybe the newer Tesla model will gain a lot more popularity and chances are that Tesla might sell that model here in Pakistan, which will automatically remove many limitations. Until then we can only hope for the best.

Awais Yousaf

One thing which he will never give up on is his love for cars. He is one of the first to jump in the conversations if you say any word related to automotive industry. Some say he thinks about cars so much that he often forgets that there exists a world around him! Poor soul. He also knows programming and is a very sociable guy. You can follow him on Facebook: and Instagram: awais_yf

Notable Replies

    1. Tesla Model S can go more than 300 km in a single charge (real life average from a 30k driven P60 owner driving in 30C temperature) which is way more than majority's daily commute and enough to make a Lahore-Islamabad one way trip.

    2. region dependent updates are based on regulations and geographic conditions the car is driven in, general, important and necessary updates are rolled out to all, don't expect ludicrous mode to be activated in Pakistan if it was not already in a region it was rolled out to, but general safety and efficiency related OTAs will still happen.

    3. I don't know why pakwheels publishes articles based on ideas so hypothetical. That these don't have even the most vague notion of their target audience: Where would you find audience irrational enough to know about a Tesla, that consider importing it but won't know / research the limitations of what they are buying?

    anyone spending a hefty amount on a unique vehicle would consider its attributes and pros / cons already won't they? yet the writers try to defend themselves from criticism in comments in such a way that if they have already imported and driven it in Pakistan.

  1. Firstly I would like to applaud you on your choosing of this topic.
    This really needs some discussion.

    However you have missed a few crucial points on assessing the situation.

    Tesla vehicles have an enormous battery. If my family used it daily, it could go almost a month without needing to be charged.

    And actually it would need only an hour of charge for it to go to your work and back.

    Secondly, this is a premium luxury car so not everyone would jump the wagon as they did for CNG.

    Also these cars don't really use that much electricity. See my post here about that

    So even if everyone switched to electric cars like Renault Zoe, it won't really create those shortages.

  2. It was a joy to read the comments, how members schooled the writer. More power to you guys, I don't know what target audience do these PW writers have in mind.

    If owner of this website is reading this I would suggest to just put the topic up and ask for contribution and thoughts from members Instead of giving the task to some highschool dropout to google and write about topics beyond their grasp.

  3. Irony ! :sweat_smile::sob:

    What did they import it for, if they can't take em out for a drive.

  4. you forgot to calculate the actual bill of electricity as the KwH tarrif in Pakistan is staged against the consumer. and I dont think there is any remote chance of a supercharger or tesla charger station on any public roadway in Pakistan anytime in the future.

    You forget that Pakistan is still stuck with jerry rig transport and stupid monstrosities like qingqi ricksha.... and the everpresent cd70 with family of 2+4

    Please wake up and smell the chai and rusk.

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