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Official cars are seen outside Grand Hotel Wien after a session of meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on “Iran nuclear deal talks” in Vienna, Austria on May 01, 2021.
Askin Kiyagan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran could send energy prices higher — even if it means more supply in the oil markets, according to Goldman Sachs’ head of energy research.

While it appears to be contradictory, a deal that brings Iranian barrels back to the market could actually see oil prices rise, said Damien Courvalin, who is also a senior commodity strategist at the bank.

Talks in Vienna are ongoing as Iran and six world powers — the U.S., China, Russia, France, U.K. and Germany — try to salvage the 2015 landmark deal. Officials say there’s been progress, but it remains unclear when negotiations could conclude and oil prices have been seesawing as a result.

A deal would lift sanctions on Iran and bring Tehran and Washington back to complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran which dealt a blow to the Islamic Republic’s oil exports.

If that announcement comes in the next few weeks, in our view, it actually starts that bullish repricing.
Damien Courvalin
head of energy research, Goldman Sachs

Courvalin explained his rationale. He pointed to how oil prices rose in April after OPEC+ said they would gradually raise output from May by adding back 350,000 barrels a day.

“An increase in production … is announced that is above anyone’s expectations — ours included. And yet prices rally, volatility comes down,” he said.

“Why? Because we lifted an uncertainty that was weighing on the market since last year,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” last week.

Investors wondered if OPEC would end up in a price war when it tried to increase production, but the oil cartel presented a “convincing path going forward,” Courvalin said.

“You could argue the same for Iran,” he added. Simply knowing will likely “lift some of that uncertainty.”

“If that announcement comes in the next few weeks, in our view, it actually starts that bullish repricing,” he said at that time.

Opposing views

Other analysts say an agreement could mean lower prices for oil, at least in the short term.

Morgan Stanley said in a research note that an increase in Iranian exports will probably cap Brent crude at $70 per barrel, and expects the international benchmark to trade between $65 and $70 per barrel for the second half of 2021.

Brent crude was lower by 0.13% at $71.22 on Friday in Asia, while U.S. crude futures were down 0.1% at $68.75.

“Our view is that the initial reaction to a potential deal will be a brief sell-off,” Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates, told CNBC in an email.

Extra Iranian barrels would be a headwind if a deal materializes, according to Austin Pickle, investment strategy analyst at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

But softer crude prices may only be temporary.

“We suspect accelerating demand and OPEC+’s disciplined supply response will support oil prices,” Pickle wrote in a note, referring to OPEC and its allies.

PVM Oil Associates expects Brent prices to reach $80 per barrel by the fourth quarter of 2021, Varga said.

He also said it will take time before Iran starts to export oil again, and global demand could have improved significantly by the time additional barrels reach the market.

Extra Iranian barrels should only delay price recovery but not throw it off course.
Tamas Varga
analyst, PVM Oil Associates

While the global economic recovery has been uneven — faster in the developed world, compared to the developing world — oil prices will rise more quickly when vaccine rollouts accelerate in Asia, he added.

“Extra Iranian barrels should only delay price recovery but not throw it off course,” Varga said.

S&P Global Platts Analytics has the view that there is room to accommodate Iranian and OPEC+ oil supply growth in the third quarter.

Toward year-end, however, energy prices could come under pressure as Iran exports and U.S. oil production increase, said Nareeka Ahir, a geopolitical analyst at S&P. She said Brent could fall to the mid or low $60s in late 2021 into 2022.

Supply may lag demand

Goldman Sachs sees Brent crude prices rising at a faster pace, and predicts the international benchmark could hit $80 by the third quarter of this year.

Courvalin noted that Asia’s oil demand has been revised lower due to new waves of the virus, and that has been been offset by upside surprises in the U.S. and Europe.

“It really paints a picture where, once vaccination rates progress sufficiently, you really see pent-up mobility get unleashed, and a significant increase in oil demand,” he said. “That’s … the root of the bullish view.”

He said supply will likely lag the pop in demand, and there will be “plenty of room” to absorb oil from Iran.

“In fact, if you told me Iran’s not coming back, our $80 dollar forecast is way too low relative to where the oil market is heading by 2022,” he added.

Concerns over an Iran deal and the pandemic may have “masked a fast-tightening oil market,” Courvalin said.

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Wheel-E Podcast: Micromobility Europe 2024, 80 MPH army e-bike, more

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Wheel-E Podcast: Micromobility Europe 2024, 80 MPH army e-bike, more

This week on Electrek’s Wheel-E podcast, we discuss the most popular news stories from the world of electric bikes and other nontraditional electric vehicles. This time, that includes all the cool stuff we saw at Micromobility Europe 2024, new low-cost Lectric XP Lite 2.0, an 80 MPH military e-bike, how Paris cleaned its air by kicking out cars, and more.

The Wheel-E podcast returns every two weeks on Electrek’s YouTube channel, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

As a reminder, we’ll have an accompanying post, like this one, on the site with an embedded link to the live stream. Head to the YouTube channel to get your questions and comments in.

After the show ends, the video will be archived on YouTube and the audio on all your favorite podcast apps:

We also have a Patreon if you want to help us to avoid more ads and invest more in our content. We have some awesome gifts for our Patreons and more coming.

Here are a few of the articles that we will discuss during the Wheel-E podcast today:

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 12:00 p.m. ET (or the video after 1:00 p.m. ET):

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BYD cuts prices on its best-selling Atto 3 electric SUV in Australia to rival Tesla

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BYD cuts prices on its best-selling Atto 3 electric SUV in Australia to rival Tesla

A new price war is fueling EV sales in Australia as the competition heats up to gain overseas market share. BYD launched its new Atto 3 electric SUV in Australia with several updates, including lower prices, as it looks to chip away at Tesla’s lead.

Chasing Tesla’s lead

Last month, electric vehicle sales in Australia were boosted by price cuts from leaders like Tesla and BYD.

According to the latest data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), 8,974 fully electric vehicles were sold in Australia last month. That number is up from the 6,194 EVs sold in April 2024 and 8,124 handed over last May.

The growth was enough for EVs to capture 8.1% of all vehicles sold in Australia last month, up from 7.7% in May 2023.

Tesla still leads with Model 3 sales reaching 1,958, surpassing its best-selling Model Y (1,609). Tesla has now sold 8,823 Model 3s and 9,610 Model Ys in Australia year-to-date.

Although Tesla has maintained a market share of over 60%, BYD is chipping away at its lead.

With 3,567 EVs sold in May, Tesla held a 40% share. BYD’s new Seal was the third best-selling EV last month, with 1,002 units sold, while the Atto 3 was fourth with 737. The growth bumped up BYD’s market share to 18%.

BYD-prices-Australia
BYD SEAL (Source: BYD)

BYD launches new Atto 3 with lower prices in Australia

The Atto 3 is still BYD’s best-selling EV in 2024, with 3,366 models sold, while the Seal is a close second at 3,306.

BYD believes 2024 will be a pivotal year as it rolls out new models and aims to take leadership in Australia’s EV market.

Following the new Seal, BYD launched a “major upgrade” for the Atto 3 Friday. BYD’s new Atto 3 features a 15.6″ screen (up from 12.8″). In addition to new features like added camping mode and karaoke, the new Atto 3 features lower prices.

The standard range Atto 3 now starts at AUD 44,449, while the Extended Range costs AUD 47,449 (before on-road costs). BYD’s new Atto 3 prices are down AUD 3,562 and the cheapest they have been so far, according to Australia’s Drive.

Powered by a 50 kWh battery and 150 kW electric motor, the new standard Atto 3 features up to 214 miles (345 km) WLTP range. The Long-Range model, with a 60 kWh battery, can travel up to 261 miles (420 km).

BYD Atto 3 vs Tesla Model Y Price
(AUD)
Range
(WLTP)
BYD Atto 3 Standard Range $44,449 214 miles (345 km)
BYD Atto 3 Long Range $47,449 261 miles (420 km)
Tesla Model Y RWD $55,900 283 miles (455 km)
Tesla Model Y AWD Long Range $69,900 331 miles (533 km)
Tesla Model Y AWD Performance $82,900 319 miles (514 km)
BYD Atto 3 vs Tesla Model Y prices and range in Australia

Meanwhile, Tesla’s RWD Model Y starts at AUD 55,900, with up to 283 miles (455 km) WLTP range. The Long-Range AWD model starts at AUD 69,900 with up to 331 miles (533 km) WLTP range.

Which one are you buying? The new BYD Atto 3? Or the Tesla Model Y? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Drive, BYD

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Tesla produces 1,300 Cybertrucks per week, moving from Foundations Series next quarter

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Tesla produces 1,300 Cybertrucks per week, moving from Foundations Series next quarter

Tesla confirmed that it managed to produce 1,300 Cybertrucks in a week and it is moving from its Foundations Series production run next quarter.

We haven’t had a lot of updates from Tesla about the Cybertruck production ramp.

Actually, the best one we got was from a recall, which confirmed that Tesla had produced just short of 4,000 Cybertrucks as of April.

Shortly after, Tesla confirmed that it achieved a production of 1,000 Cybertruck in a week in April.

We haven’t seen an update since, but we noted that Tesla seemed to be ramping up production based on sightings at Gigafactory Texas.

Yesterday, at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, Tesla released a bit more information about the Cybertruck production ramp:

  • Elon Musk said Tesla recently produced a peak of 1,300 Cybertrucks in a week
  • Elon Musk said Tesla would move away from production Foundation Series Cybertrucks in Q3
  • Tesla said it aims to be at 2,500 Cybertrucks per week by the end of the year

This would currently put Tesla at a capacity of 65,000 Cybertrucks per year and looking to exist the year with an annual capacity of 125,000 units.

Tesla has previously stated that it aims to have a full capacity of 250,000 Cybertrucks, but it plans to achieve that next year.

Moving away from the Foundation Series would presumably mean that Tesla is going to stop bundling all options together for the Dual Motor and Cyberbeast. The automaker might also release new trims – though those weren’t expected until next year.

Electrek’s Take

The Foundation Series bundles push the Cybertruck price to $100,000. Despite the hype around the Cybertruck, there’s a limited market for trucks at over $100,000.

Moving away from the Foundation Series bundles should reduce the price a bit as the dual motor is actually supposed to start at $80,000.

It will also give us more clarity into the option pricing.

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