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.

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Awais Yousaf

I'm a crazy car guy. I want an aeroplane hangar full of cars. Is that too much to ask for?

  • First, you should put blog publish date on the blog post, I have to see the source code to check the publish date. (Almost 5 month, and did not yet any changes made in Pakistan to accept Tesla car).

    1st. Tesla in Pakistan won’t going to happen in near future, its take 7-10 years for pure electric cars to reach in Pakistan because there is electricity, political, road infrastructure, and other a lot of problems.
    2nd. Even in UAE (very limited sales and supercharger points – total 26 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, other states still need to wait.) and other Arab countries not yet able to accept electrics cars till this comment made, I hope they need the more 2-3 years to adopt.
    3rd. it’s not a cheap car, also there is not any repair shop or spear parts availability.

    Finally, this would be good for those rich kids those want to spend mom/dad money to buy cars for show purpose.