Looking for an electrification project that really dents global oil demand, one has to look past Tesla and towards China’s massive fleet of electric buses. Close to 400,000 have been introduced to Chinese streets in a coordinated effort by the Chinese government and the result is big. When it comes to global oil demand displacement, the amount of oil that becomes obsolete through diesel bus to e-bus conversion is far bigger than the displacement amount for diesel light vehicles and even all gasoline vehicles combined. Considering that 99 percent of the global electric bus fleet is Chinese, a major part of oil displaced by electric vehicles globally is just the result of the Chinese buses.
Even though the Chinese fleet saves oil, the electricity they run on is not necessarily carbon free. In 2017,70 percent of Chinese electricity was generated from coal and gas. 26 percent came from renewable sources. While that renewables share is comparable to that of the UK, countries like Austria, which also operates a large e-bus fleet for European standards, have been generating electricity from around 70 percent renewable sources.
While China is the uncontested global e-bus leader, other countries are investing heavily in e-buses too. India has ordered 1,000 e-buses to be delivered throughout 2019, and Russia is planning to introduce 600 electric buses to Moscow streets.
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