China’s Electric Buses Will Cut Global Oil Consumption By 0.5 Percent

By Will Driscoll

Shenzhen has replaced its diesel buses with 16,000 electric buses, and authorities there have determined that the electric buses will eliminate the use of 345,000 tons of diesel fuel per year.

China is promoting electric buses to improve urban air quality and cut greenhouse gas emissions.  Because electric buses are far more efficient than diesel buses, net CO2 emissions will decline significantly even with fossil-fired electricity generation.

Bloomberg has projected that China will have 1.2 million electric city buses by 2025.  To support the manufacture of electric buses, China has a large and growing battery manufacturing capacity.

In 2016 the world consumed 97 million barrels of oil per day, or 35 billion barrels of oil per year. Scaling up the savings of diesel fuel from Shenzhen’s 16,000 electric buses to China’s projected 1.2 million electric buses—and converting the units from tons to barrels—shows that China’s electric buses will eliminate the use of 194 million barrels of oil per year.

Simple division shows that China’s electric buses will reduce global oil consumption by 0.5 percent.

The impact of China’s electric buses on global oil consumption is a leading indicator of the changes to come, as the world transitions to 100 percent clean renewable energy.