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Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler celebrated a birthday over the weekend, so his otherworldly guitar skills animate today's intro tune...
The prospect of Saudi Arabia backing Tesla provides a glimpse into the kingdom's oil and economic strategy, and it's not as simple as a hedge against crude's long-term decline.
Why it matters: Saudi Arabia is OPEC's dominant producer and holds massive reserves, but the kingdom wants to diversify its economy away from crude oil. The moves come at a time when some analysts see a global demand peak beginning to appear over the long-term horizon.
Driving the news: Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered new details Monday about his discussions with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, called the Public Investment Fund (PIF), about bankrolling his take-private plan.
Between the lines: While EVs remain a niche market today (less than 2% of global sales), the Saudis are keen to invest in growing tech sectors — even one that will help erode oil's dominance in transportation.
But that doesn't mean they're envisioning the end of the oil age. They're also pouring massive resources into expanding state-owned petrochemicals giant SABIC, signaling deepening interest in oil's use beyond transportation fuels.
What they're saying: Randy Bell, who heads the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center, sees a connection between Saudi Arabia's Tesla investment and SABIC's expansion:
“It’s probably better thought of as a set of diversification strategies when it seems increasingly hard for the Saudis, over the medium term, to be a price setter.”
Go deeper: Read the whole story in the Axios stream.
Breaking Tuesday: Tesla said its board of directors has formed a special committee of three members and retained the firm Latham & Watkins to review Musk's plan to take the company private.
Why it matters: It signals how the board plans to start formally interacting with Musk's bombshell announcement last week of plans to take the electric automaker private at $420-per-share.
The details: The board members on the panel are Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice.
What they're saying: Per the announcement, "The special committee has not yet received a formal proposal from Mr. Musk regarding any Going Private Transaction nor has it reached any conclusion as to the advisability or feasibility of such a transaction."
The intrigue: In the same announcement, the company says it "has separately retained Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as its legal counsel in this matter."
Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the names of legal and financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, that he'll personally work with on the newly-announced plan to take the electric automaker private.
Why it matters: Naming the team enables Musk to claim a tangible step in what remains a vague and uncertain proposal to go private.
One level deeper: Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter, reports that Silver Lake — a technology investment firm — is working with Musk for free and hasn't been hired in an "official capacity."
Buzz: The New York Times, meanwhile, has some revelations about Musk's bombshell announcement last week about the plan.
More intrigue: The NYT piece also offers more information to challenge Musk's explanation yesterday for his "funding secured" comment last week.
Solar power: Greentech Media explores the evolution of solar energy powerhouse SunPower's corporate strategy, reporting:
Oil-and-gas: Via Bloomberg, "From liquefied natural gas in Mozambique to deep-oil in Guyana, the world’s biggest energy companies are gearing up to sanction the first slate of mega-projects since the price crash in 2014, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. analysts including Angus Rodger said in a report."
EPA: E&E News reports on multiple upcoming moves that will show whether acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler breaks with predecessor Scott Pruitt's controversial approach to science policy.
The chart above, via this short Energy Department report, shows the length of one-way vehicle trips last year.
By the numbers: The big takeaway is that almost two-thirds of all trips are less than six miles.
Quick take: While "range anxiety" is often cited among the barriers to greater adoption of EVs, the data underscores how the vast majority of trips are well within their capacity on a single charge.
Finance: The China-based electric car company Nio said Monday that it's going public on the New York Stock Exchange and hopes to raise $1.8 billion, according to this filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Batteries: Over in our Expert Voices section, Eric Wachsman sizes up growing efforts among automakers to develop high-performance solid-state batteries.
Buses: Over at UC-Berkeley's Energy Institute at Haas, economist Meredith Fowlie explores the Co2 and air pollution benefits of electric buses, but warns against proposed state mandates in California.