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Tesla unveils $199-a-month Full Self-Driving subscription plan ¡ª but there¡¯s a catch

Jul 19, 2021
Tesla unveils $199-a-month Full Self-Driving subscription plan ¡ª but there¡¯s a catch
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Tesla Inc. has unveiled a $199-a-month subscription plan for its Full Self-Driving package, rather than a $10,000 up-front fee, but it could come with an added cost for some drivers.

Electrek first reported the new subscription plan Friday. According to Tesla’s support page, there are two options, depending on the vehicle’s current Autopilot capability: Basic Autopilot to FSD for $199 a month, or Enhanced Autopilot to FSD for $99 a month. Subscriptions can be canceled at any time.

Tesla TSLA, -0.98% notes that FSD is not the same as fully driverless technology, and that “the currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

But the subscription plan requires version 3.0 of the FSD hardware, and upgrading to that will cost $1,500. That hardware — containing a new, more powerful chip — has been standard in Teslas since mid-2019.

However, Electrek reported Saturday that Tesla owners who bought their vehicles between late 2016 and mid-2019 were told at the time they had FSD hardware built in and would not need an additional hardware update.

A number of Tesla owners on Twitter and Reddit expressed irritation or outright anger over that possibility, with some saying Tesla should pay for the upgrade cost while others called for a class-action lawsuit.

Tesla’s support page says hardware upgrades are not included with the FSD subscription.

Tesla, which dissolved its media relations team last year, did not immediately respond to a request for details about the FSD 3.0 upgrade cost.

Tesla shares dipped 2% last week, and are down nearly 9% year to date. They’re still up 115% over the past 12 months, though.

Shell chief vows to bolster emissions strategy after court ruling

Jul 14, 2021
Royal Dutch Shell has vowed to accelerate its strategy towards becoming a net zero emissions business, two weeks after a Dutch court ruling ordered the company to cut its global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 compared with 2019 levels.

Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, promised to “rise to the challenge” in helping to create a low-carbon energy system, but came out fighting for the Anglo-Dutch oil company he runs, insisting it has been leading the industry in taking responsibility for its carbon emissions.


In a statement on his LinkedIn page, Van Beurden said he was surprised by the court’s verdict and was “disappointed that Shell is being singled out by a ruling that I believe does not help reduce global CO2 emissions”.

He added: “A court ordering one energy company to reduce its emissions – and the emissions of its customers – is not the answer.”

The transition to low-carbon energy, which remained necessary to battle the climate emergency, was “far too big a challenge for one company to tackle”, he wrote, calling for clearer regulations and policies from global governments.

Shell said it was reviewing the ruling handed down last month by a court in The Hague and expected to appeal. But the court has said its decision is immediately applicable and should not be suspended before an appeal.

Shell’s oil production had probably peaked in 2019, Van Beurden said, adding that he believed the firm’s total absolute carbon emissions would decline from 2018 levels. Instead, he said Shell should work with its customers to help them find their own way to achieving net zero emissions.

The oil firm said it would continue to produce oil and gas products “for a long time to come” in order to meet customer demand and retain the company’s financial strength, while also attracting investment.

“Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today. This would certainly cut Shell’s carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit,” Van Beurden wrote. “Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations.”

The company said it had “rigorous, short-term reduction targets” on the way to its goal of becoming a net zero emissions business by 2050. The chief executive added that Shell had taken responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions it produced, as well as those produced when customers used its products.

The landmark Dutch case was brought by the environmental group Friends of the Earth and more than 17,000 co-plaintiffs, who successfully argued that Shell had been aware of the dangerous consequences of CO2 emissions for decades, and that and its targets remained insufficiently robust.

The company was told by the court that its emission reductions, along with those of its suppliers and buyers, should be brought into line with the Paris climate agreement.

Although it intended to appeal against the ruling, Shell said it would “seek ways to reduce emissions even further in a way that remains purposeful and profitable”.

As part of its energy transition strategy, Shell said it had in recent years invested “billions of dollars” in lower-carbon energy, including wind and solar power, hydrogen and biofuels.

Shell has vowed to give investors a chance to vote on the progress of its transition strategy at every annual shareholder meeting. Van Beurden complained that the court hearing took place several months before the publication of the strategy.

Shell faced a significant investor rebellion at its most recent AGM, when a shareholder resolution coordinated by Follow This, a Dutch climate activist group, calling for the company to set binding carbon emissions targets received 30% of votes.

Mark van Baal, the founder of Follow This, said Van Beurden had “failed to have his epiphany moment, and still thinks that committing to the Paris agreement is an unfair ask. More stakeholders than ever are pushing for Paris-alignment and there comes a time when Shell will have to listen and act. Butvan Beurden can take comfort that Shell is not alone in this challenge.”

Rachel Kennerley, an international climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said Shell’s promises did not far enough.

She added: “If Mr van Beurden was as serious about this as he claims, he’d stop dismissing his company’s role in driving this devastating situation and would use the court ruling as an intervention to do the right thing, rather than appealing it with all of Shell’s corporate might.”

Rising oil price may speed shift to electric vehicles, says energy watchdog

Jul 14, 2021
IEA analysis offers hope for climate action but says inflated oil price may slow global economic recovery from Covid-19
A motorist fills their petrol tank using a paper towel to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus
A motorist fills a petrol tank using a paper towel to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Petrol prices fell at the start of the pandemic but have now risen fast. Photograph: Jon Santa Cruz/REX/Shutterstock



Rising oil prices could help speed climate action by accelerating the shift to electric vehicles, but would come at the expense of the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the global energy watchdog.

The world’s demand for crude surged by an average of 3.2m barrels a day (b/d) in June compared with the previous month but the return of oil production has failed to keep pace, triggering a steady rise in market prices.


The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that oil prices, which climbed by two-thirds this year to highs of $77 a barrel earlier this month, could climb higher and lead to market volatility unless big oil producers pump more barrels.

“While prices at these levels could increase the pace of electrification of the transport sector and help accelerate energy transitions, they could also put a drag on the economic recovery, particularly in emerging and developing countries,” the IEA said.

US drivers are already facing record high prices to fill up their tanks due to rising oil market prices. The price per gallon reached an all-time high of $3.14 on Monday, and analysts have warned that the price could climb to $5 a gallon.

As a result, the cheaper price of running an electric vehicle may encourage more motorists to make the switch sooner than planned, boosting efforts to cut emissions from transport. But higher fuel prices could also stoke cost inflation across the global economy, particularly in developing countries.

The Paris-based agency used its influential monthly oil market report to warn members of Opec and its allies (Opec+) that without success in its oil production talks the market would “tighten significantly as demand rebounds from last year’s Covid-induced plunge”.

Oil demand fell at its steepest rate since the second world war after the outbreak of coronavirus, from 100m barrels of oil a day to just over 91m barrels. But demand could rebound at its quickest rate on record to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, according to an earlier IEA report.

The Opec+ talks to determine how quickly to increase the cartel’s oil production after historic production cuts last year fell apart last week, meaning output from the cartel is expected to rise by only 400,000 b/d from August.

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Meanwhile, the IEA has predicted that between July and September oil demand could rise to 3.3m b/d higher than the previous quarter.

In Europe, demand for air transport grew “significantly” in June, boosting demand for transport fuels. The number of scheduled seats increased by 52% in the UK compared with May, according to data provider OGA, with similar increases recorded for France (46%), Germany (44%) and Spain (53%).

The mismatch between fast-rising oil demand and a slower pace of oil production could lead to oil market volatility if there is uncertainty over the future oil supply from Opec+. Ultimately, volatility in the market “does not help ensure orderly and secure energy transitions – nor is it in the interest of either producers or consumers”, the IEA said.

Commodity Prices

Jul 7, 2021
The following graphs present commodity future prices over the periods of the last week, last three months and last year. All changes are measured in US Dollars and reflect daily closing prices for the forward month futures.

Current Price

Energy Prices
WTI Crude $73.45 +0.11 4:21 AM
Brent Crude $74.53 0 4:17 AM
Natural Gas $3.67 +0.99 4:21 AM
07 July 2021 04:32 AM GMT

Light Crude Oil

282930126$72.91$73.68$74.46$75.23$76.00Last 6 Days
MayJunJul$59.32$64.49$69.66$74.83$80.00Last 3 Months
ASONDJFMAMJJ$35.79$46.84$57.90$68.95$80.00Last 12 Months

Brent Crude Oil

282930126$74.53$75.15$75.77$76.38$77.00Last 6 Days
MayJunJul$62.74$67.06$71.37$75.69$80.00Last 3 Months
ASONDJFMAMJJ$37.46$48.10$58.73$69.36$80.00Last 12 Months

Natural Gas

282930126$3.62$3.64$3.66$3.69$3.71Last 6 Days
MayJunJul$2.46$2.84$3.23$3.61$4.00Last 3 Months
ASONDJFMAMJJ$1.64$2.23$2.82$3.41$4.00Last 12 Months

Futures Disclaimer:

Copyright © 2021. All market data is provided by Barchart Solutions.

Futures: at least 10 minute delayed. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see disclaimer.

Oil prices surge after OPEC+ calls off talks

Jul 6, 2021
New York / London (CNN Business)Oil prices soared on Tuesday after major producers, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, fell out over plans to increase production in the face of rising global demand.
The price of Brent crude, the global benchmark that has surged roughly 50% this year, rose above $77 a barrel to reach its highest level since October 2018.
US oil futures increased 1.5% to $76.32, a remarkable recovery from April 2020, when prices crashed to negative $40 a barrel.
The surge comes after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia and Mexico, canceled a Monday meeting to discuss plans to lift production curbs as demand for oil recovers following the coronavirus pandemic.
The talks were carried over from last week after producers failed to agree on production increases. No new date for the meeting has been set.
OPEC+ has only gradually added back production that it aggressively sidelined during last year's oil crash. But as economies reopen, manufacturing picks up and people start to travel again, demand for oil is outpacing supply and sending prices higher.

The high drama comes as Americans hitting the road for the Fourth of July holiday were greeted by a seven-year high in gasoline prices, adding to inflation headaches already buffeting the economy. The average price of a gallon of regular gas in the United States stands at $3.13, up 95 cents, or 44%, from a year ago.
Analysts have said that the only solution is for OPEC+ to pump more oil to meet surging demand. But members of the alliance disagree on how much oil should be added back to global supply.
OPEC member the United Arab Emirates, which has invested heavily in recent years to boost its production, has argued publicly that the baseline from which its share of cuts are calculated is too low. The UAE was OPEC's third-biggest producer in 2020.
UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said over the weekend that the current deal wasn't ''fair,'' arguing it had been forced to idle one third of its production while other countries were allowed to pump more relative to their maximum output.
''We cannot extend the agreement or make a new agreement under the same conditions. We have the sovereign right to negotiate that,'' the minister said in a televised interview on Sunday.
For many years, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, have been close allies.
But relations between the two nations have been tense more recently and analysts said that could factor into the current OPEC deadlock. In fact, some OPEC watchers see a risk that the UAE could leave the cartel altogether.
— Chris Isidore, Hanna Ziady and Matt Egan contributed to this report.

Oil prices rise to six-year highs after OPEC+ talks yield no production deal

Jul 6, 2021
Oil jumped to its highest level in six years after talks between OPEC and its oil-producing allies were postponed indefinitely, with the group failing to reach an agreement on production policy for August and beyond.

On Tuesday, U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures advanced 1.6%, or $1.22, to $76.38 per barrel. At one point, WTI crude hit as high as $76.98, which was the highest price since November 2014.


International benchmark Brent crude rose 0.2%, or 16 cents, to $77.32 per barrel — the highest since late 2018.

Discussions began last week between OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, as the energy alliance sought to establish output policy for the remainder of the year. The group on Friday voted on a proposal that would have returned 400,000 barrels per day to the market each month from August through December, resulting in an additional 2 million barrels per day by the end of the year. Members also proposed extending the output cuts through the end of 2022.

The United Arab Emirates rejected these proposals, however, and talks stretched from Thursday to Friday as the group tried to reach a consensus. Initially, discussions were set to resume on Monday but were ultimately called off.

“The date of the next meeting will be decided in due course,” OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said in a statement.

OPEC+ took historic measures in April 2020 and removed nearly 10 million barrels per day of production in an effort to support prices as demand for petroleum-products plummeted. Since then, the group has been slowly returning barrels to the market, while meeting on a near monthly basis to discuss output policy.

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