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President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani speaks during the National Combat Board Meeting with Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Tehran, Iran on Nov. 21, 2020.
Iranian Presidency Handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Iran opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, a move aimed at making Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s regime less dependent on the Strait of Hormuz, often a source of international tension.

The location of the new oil terminal, a project that began in 2019 and will cost some $2 billion, will also reduce transportation and insurance expenses for oil tankers.

“This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will secure the continuation of our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech, according to state-run media.

The Strait of Hormuz, a crucial channel located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, is used by oil producers to transport crude from the Middle East. Approximately 20% of the world’s crude oil passes through the waterway.

The new terminal gives Iran more space to operate. The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow strip of water between Iran and the United Arab Emirates that connects the Persian Gulf to more open waters. The new terminal is to the east on the wider Gulf of Oman, which opens into the vast Arabian Sea.

Iran has previously threatened to close the strait in response to Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions.

“This new crude export terminal shows the failure of Washington’s sanctions on Iran,” Rouhani said, adding that Iran plans to export 1 million barrels per day of oil.

Washington placed sanctions on Tehran after former then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, nuclear agreement in 2018.

The JCPOA, brokered by the Obama administration in 2015, lifted sanctions on Iran that had hampered its economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half. In exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran agreed to dismantle some of its nuclear programs and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections.

Alongside the United States, France, Germany, the U.K., Russia and China ⁠were also signatories of the agreement.

In 2018, Trump kept a campaign promise and unilaterally withdrew the United States from the JCPOA calling it the “worst deal ever.” Trump also reintroduced sanctions on Tehran that had been previously lifted.

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign crippled Iran’s economy and slashed oil exports.

The Biden administration is working to revive the JCPOA with the deal’s other signatories.

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Podcast: Tesla layoffs, all-in on Robotaxi, shareholders vote, and more

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Podcast: Tesla layoffs, all-in on Robotaxi, shareholders vote, and more

On the Electrek Podcast, we discuss the most popular news in the world of sustainable transport and energy. In this week’s episode, we discuss Tesla’s massive round of layoffs, Elon Musk putting Tesla all-in on Robotaxi, important shareholders vote, and more.

The show is live every Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Electrek’s YouTube channel.

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 at around 5 p.m. ET, the video will be archived on YouTube and the audio on all your favorite podcast apps:

We now have a Patreon if you want to help us 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 podcast:

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 4:00 p.m. ET (or the video after 5 p.m. ET):

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Norway just signed a contract for its first commercial offshore wind farm

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Norway just signed a contract for its first commercial offshore wind farm

Norway has signed a contract with Ventyr Energi to develop Sørlige Nordsjø 2, its first commercial offshore wind farm.

Norway’s energy minister, Terje Aasland, and wind consortium Ventyr Energi representatives signed the contract. Aasland said:

This marks an important milestone in Norway’s commitment to renewable energy. I firmly believe that Sørlige Nordsjø II can be a catalyst to achieve our ambitions for the offshore wind industry in Norway.

Ventyr Energi, a consortium formed by Parkwind and Ingka Investments, won Norway’s first auction to develop offshore wind in Sørlige Nordsjø 2 (Southern North Sea II) last month.

The Norwegian government opened the application window for Norway’s first offshore wind auction in March 2023. It offered a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts (GW) at Sørlige Nordsjø II and 1.5 GW at Utsira Nord.

In February, five groups qualified to participate in the auction: Aker Offshore Wind, BP, and Statkraft; Equinor and RWE; Norseman Wind, a subsidiary of EnBW; Shell, Lyse, and Eviny; and Ventyr.

Norway’s aim is to achieve 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2040. 

Read more: This ‘spider’ crane enables an offshore wind turbine to virtually build itself


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NIO denies new layoff rumors amid recent wave of EV job cuts

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NIO denies new layoff rumors amid recent wave of EV job cuts

Chinese EV maker NIO is denying rumors of a second round of layoffs circulating on social media. The speculation comes as several EV makers recently announced plans to scale back.

NIO announced in November it was trimming its staff by 10% amid “fierce competition,” according to a memo reviewed by Bloomberg.

The letter from CEO William Li said the company was eliminating duplicate and inefficient roles. Furthermore, projects not expected to generate earnings within the next three years were delayed or omitted from the plans.

“This is a tough but necessary decision against fierce competition,” Li said, adding, “Our journey is a marathon on a muddy track.”

NIO’s job cuts came after market leaders like Tesla and BYD aggressively slashed prices all year. NIO cut prices by up to $4,200 in June as it looked to keep pace.

After opening orders for the new ET7 this week, all NIO models are now underpinned by its updated NT 2.0 platform.

NIO-new-ET7
2024 NIO ET7 (Source: NIO)

NIO clarifies no new layoffs are planned

After reports of a new round of layoffs began circulating, NIO set the record straight. The rumors were started by foreign bloggers, making their way to Chinese social media.

The rumors claimed NIO was implementing another round of layoffs. Reports cited falling sales and increased competition. Li said he was unaware of the situation.

Rising competition and higher interest rates are making it harder for EV makers to compete. Several automakers have announced plans to reduce their workforce or scale back.

NIO-layoffs
New flagship NIO ET9 premium EV (Source: NIO)

Rivian announced plans to cut another 1% of jobs after revealing it was laying off 10% of its salaried employees in February.

The news comes after Tesla revealed it was reducing its global workforce by over 10% this week.

Meanwhile, NIO’s sales rebounded in March as new models launched. NIO delivered 11,866 vehicles in March (its highest monthly total in 2024) for 30,053 in the first quarter.

Porsche-Chinese-EVs
NIO ET5T (Source: NIO)

NIO topped estimates after trimming delivery forecasts just days before the release. Refreshed models like the 2024 ES8, ES6, EC6, and ET5T fueled the growth.

The EV maker expects the momentum to continue in the second quarter with the 2024 ES7, ET7, and ET5 rolling out.

NIO-layoffs
NIO stock chart over the past year (Source: TradingView)

NIO’s (NYSE: NIO) stock is down over 50% this year as the EV sector has slipped into a downward trend. NIO shares are down over 90% from the all-time high of over $62 set in February 2021.

Source: CnEVPost, NIO

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