Automotive & Transportation

Electric Buses are Scaring the Oil Industry

27 April 2018

Electric vehicles are on the rise, especially in China, where battery-powered buses are becoming more and more commonplace as a way to get around – and the fossil fuel industry is feeling the pinch.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released some new numbers this week and they’re telling. In 2017, China had accounted for about 99 percent of the 385,000 electric buses on the road. About 17 percent of all buses in the country are electric with about 9,500 being added weekly.

These fleets are making a considerable reduction in fuel demand. For every 1,000 battery-powered buses in use, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market, according to BNEF calculations.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The volume of unnecessary fuel may rise 37 percent to 279,000 barrels a day as electric transport of all kinds surge in use this year. That’s about as much oil as the entire country of Greece consumes and buses account for about 233,000 of that estimated total.

Other major metros are following suit. Paris, London, Mexico City and Los Angeles among others have committed to phasing in zero-emission vehicles within the next decade or so.

London is slowly transforming the traditional red double-decker bus fleet it is known for into an environmentally friendly fleet. Four routes in the city are being shifted to electric now, with plans to make all the former diesel buses electric by 2037.

This change will impact the country’s fuel consumption too. Currently, they use about 1.5 million barrels annually. Once the entire bus system is electric, that could displace 430 barrels daily for every 1,000 buses that go electric, BNEF says.

In the United States, the nation’s capital plans to put its first group of battery-powered buses into effect in early May, according to the D.C. Commuter Times. This fleet of 14 buses is expected to save the city 88,900 gallons of fuel annually, the website reported.

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