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Elon Musk touts 146,000 orders for Tesla’s electric pickup truck

LOS ANGELES, Nov 24: Elon Musk says Tesla has received nearly 150,000 orders for its new electric pickup truck since the automaker revealed the futuristic vehicle earlier this week to mixed reviews.

The Tesla CEO tweeted Saturday that the company received 146,000 orders for the wedge-shaped “Cybertruck” since is unveiling Thursday night.

Musk said 17 per cent of the orders are for the single-motor model, 42% are for the dual-motor version and 41 per cent are for the tri-motor model.

The much-hyped unveiling went off script when its supposedly unbreakable window glass splintered twice when hit with a large metal ball. Some analysts panned the truck’s blocky, angular looks.

Placing an order costs buyers USD 100, which Tesla says is fully refundable.

Tesla has said the “Cybertruck,” which starts at USD 39,900, will be in production in 2021.

FASTag will be like Aadhaar for vehicles: Gadkari

NEW DELHI, Oct 14: Efforts are being made to enable usage of FASTag for making various vehicle related payments such as toll payments, fuel payment, parking charges, among others, union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

FASTag, a radio frequency identification (RFID) sticker typically fixed to a vehicle’s windscreen, lets toll booths wirelessly and automatically deduct the fee, thereby not requiring a vehicle to stop. The tags were made mandatory for all new cars sold after December 1, 2017, as a measure to encourage digital payments and free up congestion at toll booths.

Addressing “One Nation One Tag – FASTag” conference held in Delhi, the minister said the FASTag is being positioned as the “Aadhaar” for a vehicle; its data will also be used for tracking vehicles on national highways by various enforcement agencies.

He said India’s toll revenue is likely to swell to Rs 1 lakh crore annually in the next five years on the back of initiatives like electronic toll collection programme, which is being implemented pan-India to remove bottlenecks.

“Our toll revenue is approximately Rs 30,000 crore per annum currently... of the total 1.4 lakh km highways under NHAI, 24,996 km of highways currently is under the toll ambit and the length will increase to 27,000 km by the year-end,” Gadkari said.

Beginning December 1, commuters will need to use FASTag to pay toll across national highways in the country, or pay double if they use cash. The Centre has also asked states to come on board to include state toll plazas under the national electronic toll collection programme. An MoU with some states was also signed for the same.

“Collection at state highways toll plazas is done either manually or through other tags. This leads to inconvenience for the road users. The ministry is therefore encouraging states to come onboard FASTag, so that seamless movement of transport can be assured across the nation. We are now providing financial assistance for 50% of the capital expenditure (capex) cost of installation of electronic toll collection (ETC) infrastructure in two lanes on each toll plaza subject to a maximum of Rs 20 lakh and also bear part of the ETC programme management fee,” Gadkari said.



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