Electric buses are starting to hurt the oil industry
Electric buses were seen as a joke at an industry conference in Belgium seven years ago when the Chinese manufacturer BYD Co. showed an early model, Bloomberg reports.
However, buses with battery-powered motors are now a serious matter with the potential to revolutionize city transport. With China leading the way, making the traditional smog-belching diesel behemoth run on electricity is starting to eat away at fossil fuel demand.
China had about 99% of the 385,000 electric buses on the roads worldwide in 2017, accounting for 17% of the country’s entire fleet. Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
All this is starting to make an observable reduction in fuel demand. And because they consume 30 times more fuel than average sized cars, their impact on energy use so far has become much greater than the passenger sedans produced by companies like Tesla. For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market.
This year, the volume of fuel buses take off the market may rise 37% to 279,000 barrels a day, about as much oil as Greece consumes, according to BNEF. Other cities are also taking notice. Paris, London, Mexico City and Los Angeles are among 13 authorities that have committed to only buying zero emissions transport by 2025.