Decision follows discovery of a rare earth metal in Mustang that will increase battery life three times
KATHMANDU, MARCH 31
With petroleum prices rising due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Elon Musk's decision to start manufacturing Tesla cars in Nepal couldn't have come at a better time.
Musk, the richest person in the world and the founder CEO of Tesla, a car that runs on battery, has decided to mass produce Tesla cars in Nepal after the discovery of a rare earth metal, promethium, in the Himalayas that he believes will increase battery life three times. Promethium, by the way, is used in nuclear batteries.
When asked where the metal was found, Karma Tamrakar, head of Akar Motors that will give shape to Musk's vision of beginning Tesla production in Nepal, said an American company found it while prospecting in Mustang. Though he declined to give the exact location where promethium was found, Karma disclosed that the new battery using it will be called Karishma due to its miraculous properties.
Akar will begin assembling two models of Tesla – Model X and Model 3 – to begin with, as these are the only two models that Tesla has been able to sell in Nepal.
Presently, there are just seven Tesla electric vehicles in Nepal – four Model X and three Model 3. If you are wondering why the company has been able to sell so few vehicles in Nepal, the answer lies in their price. Tesla Model X costs Rs 2.35-2.75 crore in Nepal, whereas Tesla Model 3 is priced in the range Rs 1.20- 1.47 crore.
Karma said once the production begins in Nepal, prices of the two models will come down considerably due to the availability of cheap labour, production of more cars, and because of no import duty. The company aims to sell at least 50 cars a year.
Karma hopes that once production starts in Nepal, the company can also export the models to India and China, decreasing Nepal's trade deficit with both the neighbours.
Till now Tesla Model X is being assembled in Fremont, California, and Tilburg, Netherlands.
It uses 100kWh lithium ion battery that runs 380 km when fully charged. Once the new battery, Karishma, replaces it, the car will be able to run more than 1,100 km when fully charged. An average car owner, who drives in the city, rarely does more than 70 km a day. This means that with Karishma in car, Tesla X customer will have to charge the car only twice a month.
Tesla Model 3, on the other hand, is being assembled in Fremont and Shanghai. It uses 54, 62, 75, or 82 kWh lithium ion battery that runs 354 km once fully charged. It will run more than 1,000 km when running on a fully charged Karishma. Nothing short of a miracle!
A version of this article appears in the print on April 1, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.
The Himalayan Times apologies to all would-be Tesla owners who were expecting to buy their beloved car in Nepal itself, because Elon Musk has no plan to start production of Tesla cars in Nepal. At least not till promethium is actually found in Nepal. Due apologies to Musk as well. The write-up on Page 1 is a regular April Fools Day spoof THT carries every year. Gotcha! -Editorial